[Romans 12: 3] [Mark 16: 16-20]
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”
“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.  “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;  they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”  So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.  And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Jesus promised us in John 14:13 saying, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
When we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, even though it is something impossible by men, God can do it for us.
But this word cannot be applied to anybody but those who have perfect faith. Only if you cast off all sins and evil and accomplish perfectly truthful heart, God will answer to whatever you ask.
Also, when you pray for other people, God shows His works. Just as written in today’s passage, you will perform various signs, so that you can testify to the gospel for many people.
This is the 23rd session on Measure of Faith, and the fourth session on the fifth level of faith.
Through the message, may you receive the power and manifest God’s works so that you will be able to guide so many souls to God, I pray in the name of the Lord!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I told you that the second trait of the fifth level of faith is that they will accumulate limitless amount of prayer and manifest signs and wonders. If a person who has cast off sins and become sanctified accumulates so much prayer within the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he will receive God’s power and perform various signs and wonders.
Among them, in today’s passage, there are five kinds of signs that will follow those who believe, and I already explained two of them in the last session. It was they would drive out demons in the Lord’s name and they would speak in new tongues.
The third sign is that they will pick up serpents. Here, ‘Serpents’ do not refer to snakes crawling on the ground but it has spiritual meaning.
As the first part of Revelation 12:9 says, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world,” a ‘serpent’ refers to the enemy devil and Satan.
Therefore, believers’ picking up serpents means they have the authority to demolish the synagogue of Satan in the church.
The latter half of Revelation 2:9 says, “and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” And also Revelation 3:9 says, “Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.”
‘Synagogue of Satan’ is a group of people who think they belong to God but actually are disturbing God’s works because things do not agree with their thoughts and benefits.
It is when two or more people gather in the church, speak words of complaints, and cause problems by judging, condemning, and alienating people from one another.
Then they separate themselves and make divisions. Of course, in the church, we sometimes need to make constructive suggestions in accomplishing something with love for God and good intention.
But if you stand against the pastor and separate the brothers in faith going against the policies of the church to seek your own benefit and having your own self-righteousness, it is certainly a work of Satan.
If a synagogue of Satan is formed in a church, the love will cool down and God’s works will stop. The members of the church will face tests and trials and the revival will stop.
But in the church, if there is a person who is at the fifth level of faith, he can look through the synagogue of Satan and break it down with the authority in his word.
In our church, since the opening, there has been no synagogue of Satan formed so far. Because the word of truth is abundantly proclaimed from the pulpit, even when the members hear some untruthful words from other people, they don’t get deceived or align themselves with them.
Even when there were people who tried to form synagogue of Satan, God first let me know about them so that I could demolish their work by the word from the pulpit.
So, even those who were trying to form synagogue of Satan came to realize their fault and repented, and even if they didn’t repent, they left the church being unable to cause any more disturbances.
The fourth sign that follows those who believe is that if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them.
In Acts 28:1-6, we see the apostle Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake. Many people who saw it thought Paul would die immediately, but nothing happened to him.
They were so surprised and considered Paul like god. Likewise, if you reach the level of perfect faith, you will be protected even if you drink any deadly poison.
Even if you take poison, God will keep you unharmed. Even if you breathe in poisonous gas, God will protect you. Even if germs or viruses infect you, God will immediately burn them with the fire of the Holy Spirit. I had this kind of experience many times.
When I had food that went bad or which contained some harmful substances, they couldn’t harm me. When I passed through a place where tear gas exploded, other people were sneezing and shedding so many tears, but I wasn’t affected at all.
Of course, even if a person has great power, if he drinks any poison intentionally to test God, he cannot be protected.
Matthew 4:7 says, “Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
If you dare to intentionally drink poison to test God, He will turn His face away and He cannot protect you.
Next, the fifth sign that follows those who believe is that when they lay hands on the sick people, they will get well. If you reach the fifth level of faith and receive power, no disease will infect you and also you will have power to heal other people’s sicknesses.
But just like the case of praying for demon-possession, even when a powerful man lays his hands, sometimes the disease is not healed. It’s when the person who is receiving prayer has no faith at all or when he has a great wall of sin against God.
In our church, even in a week, numerous people come to receive my prayer and get healed. Furthermore, nowadays, there are so many people who experience God’s power transcending time and space through Internet or GCN broadcasting.
We continuously receive letters of testimonies from those who received healings and answers to their problems through the broadcast. But why are there people who do not receive the answers although they receive the same prayer?
It’s because they don’t receive the prayer with faith but they only expect some luck. Even though such great works of God take place in this church, not everybody can experience God’s works. You first have to listen to the word of God, have faith, and repent of your sins.
Then, you have to receive the prayer with longing and faith that you will really be healed if you receive prayer. If you have that kind of heart, you can confess that you will be healed just by touching the edge of the cloak or just by the word.
Also, even if you cannot receive the prayer the way you wanted, you won’t get disappointed, but you will act with humble heart and faith until the end. So, when you preach the gospel to other people you have to teach them the right thing.
Because some of you say that everyone will receive healing and blessings just by receiving prayer, the other one rather loses his heart without receiving the answer. This should not happen.
Of course, even among those who come without faith, as said, “The prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much,” sometimes God’s works still take place only with my faith, but still, you have to teach the truth correctly when you try to evangelize others.
Sometimes, even if the one who is receiving prayer has no faith at all, God looks at his inner heart and heals him.
Although he has no faith right now, if he is a kind of person who will give glory to God and lead an enthusiastic Christian life once he meets God, God may heal him first.
But please remember, in principle, you first have to listen to the word of God, repent, and prepare the vessel to receive the answer.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, there is one more thing you should remember. At the fifth level of faith, you can manifest many kinds of signs, but not everyone who manifests these signs is at the fifth level of faith.
For example, even though one is not sanctified, if he loves God and the souls very much and accumulates fervent prayers, he may receive the gift the Holy Spirit such as gift of healing or working of miracles.
When they he prays for other people, healing works can take place. Also, even though one has not received the gift of the Holy Spirit, when he prays for somebody so earnestly with love, God may have compassion and answer to his prayer.
For example, even though a pastor does not have God’s power, sometimes a member may request for the pastor’s prayer so earnestly.
When this member believes that he will be healed only if he receives a prayer from the pastor, God looks at his pure heart and faith and works for him.
But these cases are different from manifesting signs and wonders with the full power of God received.
You can receive God’s power to some extent when you come into the fourth level and accumulate limitless amount of prayer, and only when you get to the fifth level of faith can you fully receive God’s power.
If you have received the complete power of God being at the fifth level of faith, not just one or two kinds of works will take place from time to time, but all five kinds of works that follow the believers will take place always, and you should be able to perform greater works than these, too.
You will not only heal diseases, but you should be able to heal even infirmities, namely disabilities, and also manifest other kinds of signs and wonders as needed.
That’s why the gift of healing and gift of working of miracles are separated among the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The gift of healing can heal diseases caused by germs or viruses but it cannot heal any infirmity, namely disability. It cannot drive out demons either.
So, even at prayer centers where healing works are taking place, in many cases they cannot heal those who are demon-possessed.
You can heal infirmities only with working of miracles, and even if you perform the powerful works with the gift of the Holy Spirit, we cannot say you have complete power of God. Also, in the Bible, along with the word ‘power’ there is authority, too.
Power, authority, and authority and power together seem to have similar meanings, but they are different. When I explain them to you now, I hope you will clearly understand them.
First, power is something that men cannot do but God can do with His power.
Mark 10:27 says, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” There are so many things that are impossible by human ability, but there is nothing impossible by the power of God.
Just by looking at the processes of our church’s accomplishing the world mission, you probably agree that all those things were only possible by God’s power.
Without having anything, this church was started only with about 7 dollars and it grew to become a mega size church like this. This could not be done by human wisdom or knowledge.
Without having any previous connections, it is impossible to have mega size crusades in many other countries. Also, establishing GCN in such a short time could not be done with human ability.
They were possible only with the power of God who can make impossible things possible. With this power, we can heal diseases and infirmities, and even revive the dead and drive out demons.
-As I already explained, if you have the gift of healing, you can heal diseases caused by germs or viruses, but you cannot heal such things as blindness, muteness, or lameness only with the gift of healing. You must have power.
Even before you completely cast off evil, if you have passionate love for God and the souls and store a great amount of prayer, you can receive some power as a gift of the Holy Spirit, but it cannot be perfect.
Most of the works take place in some parts only. Also, if the one who received the power becomes arrogant or changes his mind, that gift will be taken away.
But if you come into fourth level of faith or above, you are already sanctified, so you won’t be arrogant or change your mind.
Therefore, the power given will not be taken away, and as you store up more amount of prayer and as you resemble God more, God will give you spiritual authority so that you can perform His power to the full extent.
Then, what is authority? Spiritual authority is ‘the dignified and glorious power set by God and the command of God from above, being originated from the orders of God.’ It is the glorious power belonging to God the Creator allowed to men.
Romans 13:1 says, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”
When Pilate was questioning Jesus, Jesus said, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above (i.e. from God).”
Also, in the book of Job, when Satan brought charges against Job, what Satan accused him of could take place only when God allowed it. God allowed the test to take place, but He didn’t allow the life of Job to be taken, so the enemy devil and Satan could not touch his life.
Only God is the one who controls everything in heaven and earth and life, death, fortune, and misfortune. If God doesn’t allow, not even one sparrow will fall to the ground.
If you remember this fact, even when you face some tests, you won’t use human methods but try to find the solution within God.
You should understand why God allowed such a thing and receive the answer from God. And this authority is directly related with sanctification.
When I explained to you about the power, I told you that even those who are not fully sanctified can receive some portion of power if they store up limitless amount of prayer with earnest heart to accomplish the kingdom of God.
But spiritual authority can never be given unless the person is sanctified. If you give a sharp sword to a baby, he will greatly harm both himself and other people.
Also, in old days, when an evil person who was not really qualified to become an official received the authority of the king, he would torment the people and cause problems in the country.
Now, if anybody can have the glorious authority of the almighty God, wouldn’t the world fall into chaos?
That’s why spiritual authority can be given to those who are at least in the fourth level of faith. They should have not any evil but virtue and generosity even to give their own lives for brothers.
If you go into the fifth level of faith and receive the complete power along with spiritual authority, you will be able to perform the authoritative power.
But mostly, we refer to this authoritative power as just ‘power’. Luke 4:36 says, “And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.”
The works that Jesus performed were not only works of power but they were manifested along with authority. Although one has not reached the fifth level of faith, sometimes works of authority and power may take place. For example, it was when Jesus laid His hands on His disciples to perform His power.
At that time, the power of Jesus was momentarily bestowed upon His disciples by the will of Jesus, so powerful works took place. When we talk about the ‘power’ in general, it includes all spiritual works like driving out demons, healing of infirmities, and reviving the dead.
But more specifically, just the power, authority and power, and power along with authority are different. Then, what is different between just ‘power’ and ‘authoritative power’?
For example, between parents and children, even though the son is very intelligent and has great capability, he has to obey his father’s word. He has to submit himself to the authority of his father.
Also, in old days, some officers had to obey a messenger of the king who was delivering the message of the king. Even though the officer was higher than the messenger, because the messenger was carrying the message of the king, that officer had to obey the messenger.
Then, if God the Almighty has given His spiritual power to somebody, all creatures and even evil spirits have to obey him. Let me give you one more example.
Those who can drive a car can drive the car to move. But if the traffic police officer stops the car, even though the driver is able to move the car, he has to stop submitting to the authority of the police officer.
It’s the same in spirit. Psalm 62:11 says that power belongs to God. Because spiritual authority belongs to God, if you have power along with His authority, evil spirits, diseases, germs, and even non-living organisms will obey you.
You can even command the wind, waves, or rain and cloud to change the weather. Only those who are sanctified and have faith like pure gold can receive this kind of authoritative power, and even at the same fifth level of faith, one has to go into deep level of it to manifest that power greatly.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, Philippians 3:20 says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
You and I who believe in the Lord do not belong to this earth but heavenly kingdom. But this verse is not only the kingdom of heaven that we will enter later.
If you truly dwell in the light and live as a heavenly citizen, you can experience the heavenly things even on this earth. With the authority and power of God, you can drive away the enemy devil and Satan, so no tests or trials will be a problem for you.
Also, when you perform the powerful works in the name of Jesus Christ, you can lead so many people to the way of salvation. God eagerly wants His children to be able to perform such works and is always looking for someone who is qualified to receive the power.
I hope you will long to receive this authoritative power and more diligently advance into perfect light and spiritual realm.
By doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will lift up the name of the Lord among so many peoples and when He comes back again, you will be able to be at His side boldly.