Each week I ask the LORD what He wants me to write to the people. He seldom tells me in advance, it’s like I sit down and take dictation, for it comes as fast as I can write.  Well, today I asked Him what to write, He said “ONCE UPON A TIME….”  Ok, that tells me a whole lot….but hang on, here we go.

Once upon a time, people took the Word of God as the measure of absolute truth.  When Pilate was questioning Jesus at his mock trial, this is what was happened:
Joh 18:33  Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
Joh 18:34  Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
Joh 18:35  Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
Joh 18:36  Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Joh 18:37  Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Joh 18:38  Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

Did you see that?  Pilate asked, WHAT IS TRUTH? Even thousands of years ago, people were searching for truth.  And truth was standing right in front of their eyes, the very Son of God, in the flesh, yet the people rejected the truth back then, even as they reject truth today.

Every word that came from the mouth of Christ Jesus was and IS truth, but just as the Bible prophesies in 2 Timothy 4:3-4,
2Ti 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Is it any different today? The Jews listened to the cries of their leaders to crucify Jesus, and they did so, rejecting the TRUTH that Jesus was innocent.  You would think that by the overwhelming evidence of all the miracles Jesus did, that they would have recognized Him for who He is, but they didn’t.  I find it interesting that the LEADERS rejected the TRUTH, but many of the common people embraced the truth.  And I find it sad that today, many church leaders still reject the TRUTH of Christ Jesus.  Oh, they admit and even preach that Jesus is the Savior, but the reject much else that Jesus preached and taught His disciples. They take on a form of “godliness”, but deny the power of it to change the lives of everyone who believes.

Instead of preaching to the people that Christ Jesus has granted every believer the power to do miracles in His name, they instead just “tone it down” and keep the people powerless against the kingdom of darkness.  It’s a sad state when they only want to be the one in the church wielding the power of the Holy Spirit, instead of “spreading the GOOD NEWS that EVERY believer can be an accurate duplication of the first disciples.”   Once upon a time, there was POWER in the church.  Once upon a time, MIRACLES took place on a regular basis.  Yes, once upon a time: but not so much now.  And that’s so sad.

Where did the false doctrine that “miracles and healings went out with the death of the last disciple”?  ARE WE NOT DISCIPLES TODAY?  Are there not believers today who are disciples of Christ Jesus of Nazareth because we read the Word of God or heard the preaching of the Gospel?  We are indeed disciples of that same Christ Jesus of Nazareth that the original twelve disciples heard and followed.  They were His witnesses after Jesus ascended back to heaven to His Father, who went about preaching the Kingdom of God, and their preaching was backed up with signs and wonders and miracles.  Multitudes heard their words and believed upon Christ Jesus.  And they in turn preached the Gospel with signs and wonders following.  But somewhere along the line, the Gospel has been watered down by people who were afraid to “share the power” and wanted to keep it for themselves.

There are absolute MULTITUDES of churches all over, but something is different!  The POWER of the Gospel no longer seems to accompany the word preached. Has the Gospel lost its power, or have the preachers perverted the Gospel into a useless and gutless sermon?  Some would have us believe the signs and wonders were only for the “early church”.  Hey, what about the “present day church”?  Why are we stuck with warmed over left overs?  Why can’t WE have the real deal today?  They did, once upon a time…..

Listen, it’s time to just stop taking every preacher’s word for truth and start checking them out, and that goes for ME as well!  Don’t just take my word for it that you can be a believer of Christ Jesus today and walk in the same power and authority that the early disciples did, GO TO YOUR BIBLE AND READ IT FOR YOURSELF!!  The Gospel has NOT lost its power, but it HAS lost many of its true preachers.  It is written in Hebrews 13:8-9,
Heb 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Heb 13:9  Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Many are being carried away today with divers and strange doctrines, doctrines that say the days of miracles are over, that say the “church” has replaced Israel in God’s plan of things, which God has NOT said.  Indeed, if preachers will start preaching the same Gospel of Christ Jesus that the original disciples preached, then God will show up and confirm the word preached with signs and wonders.

Friends, unbelief is not new in THIS generation, even the disciples were subject to unbelief.  Let’s look at this account in the last chapter of Mark, and how Jesus dealt with it:
Mar 16:9  Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
Mar 16:10  And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
Mar 16:11  And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
Mar 16:12  After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
Mar 16:13  And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
Mar 16:14  Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
Mar 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mar 16:18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Mar 16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

You see, unbelief has the same effect today that it had back then.  Jesus told the disciples in no uncertain terms to get over their unbelief and GO PREACH THE GOSPEL!  Read verses 15 through 18 again if you didn’t get it the first time.  Jesus said what He meant, and meant what He said.  He didn’t stutter.  He told the TRUTH, what would happen if we follow His instructions!  And verse 20 shows the fruit of obedience to the Word of Truth.  Follow those same instructions TODAY, and you will no longer have to say, “Once upon a time…..”