There were added that day about 3,000 souls

Many of us have wondered, what was it that the disciples did or what did they have, which caused many thousands of people to be saved whenever they preached. I have been on a long journey to find out what it was. I have come to the (more or less) same conclusion as Smith Wigglesworth and Reinhardt Bonnke and others – it is faith in Christ Jesus as “the Christ” that overcomes the evil in this world.

When our faith overcomes the evil, the people are literally released from that evil and they are free to respond to Him. But note… our faith doesn’t save them, it merely releases them, so they can respond to Him. It is He alone who saves, but He is generous to allow us to “use” our faith and be involved in something eternal.

Faith in Jesus as the Christ

So first, let’s look at the book of Acts for examples, then after that we can consider what it means to believe in Jesus as the Christ. First let’s see that this alone is the key, then we can try to understand the key itself.

v4 But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand – Acts 4:4

So in this verse the numbers grew, now let’s look at Acts 3:12-26 and what was believed and preached (their faith) which enabled those people to be free enough to respond. I quote only a few selected verses here…

The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified His Servant and Son Jesus [doing Him this honor]…

But you denied and rejected and disowned the Pure and Holy, the Just and Blameless One, and demanded [the pardon of] a murderer to be granted to you.

But you killed the very Source (the Author) of life, Whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses…

Thus has God fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (the Messiah) should undergo ill treatment and be afflicted and suffer…

And that He may send [to you] the Christ (the Messiah), Who before was designated and appointed for you–even Jesus, Whom heaven must receive [and retain] until the time for the complete restoration of all that God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets for ages past (Acts 3:21)

It was to you first that God sent His Servant and Son Jesus, when He raised Him up provided and gave Him for us], to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness and evil ways. -selected from Acts 3:12-26

Did you notice the words in Acts 3:21 ?

Whom heaven must receive [and retain] until the time for the complete restoration of all that God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets for ages past – Acts 3:21

What Jesus DID on the cross results in the complete restoration of all. Wow huh? I’m not saying all will be eternally saved, I don’t believe that because in that final judgement we are clearly told there will be goats. But in this world, now, we can expect and we will see the “full restoration”.

FIRST their heart

Ok, let’s keep exploring Acts… we can go in reverse and look at Acts 2:14-42, after which were the words

Therefore those who accepted and welcomed his message were baptized, and there were added that day about 3,000 souls. – Acts 2:41

So let’s look at Acts 2:14-42, and see what recurring themes there are in that very looooong passage – too long to quote it all here.

v21 And it shall be that whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord–Christ] shall be saved.

v23-24 This Jesus, when delivered up according to the definite and fixed purpose and settled plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and put out of the way [killing Him] by the hands of lawless and wicked men. [But] God raised Him up, liberating Him from the pangs of death, seeing that it was not possible for Him to continue to be controlled or retained by it.

In this next verse, again with faith they are proclaiming His victory over death – which is what is keeping the people bound, deaf and blind to the truth.

v27 For You will not abandon my soul, leaving it helpless in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor let Your Holy One know decay or see destruction [of the body after death].

v31-35 He, foreseeing this, spoke [by foreknowledge] of the resurrection of the Christ (the Messiah) that He was not deserted [in death] and left in Hades (the state of departed spirits), nor did His body know decay or see destruction. This Jesus God raised up, and of that all we [His disciples] are witnesses. Being therefore lifted high by and to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promised [blessing which is the] Holy Spirit, He has made this outpouring which you yourselves both see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens; yet he himself says,

And they confess the truth that the work is done, it is so complete that the people are in fact free. There is nothing left to be done, Jesus Christ SAT DOWN! You only sit down when your work is DONE. Remember, He said “it is finished!”

v34 The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand and share My throne Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.

v36 Therefore let the whole house of Israel recognize beyond all doubt and acknowledge assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ (the Messiah)–this Jesus Whom you crucified.

Now look, after the gospel of Jesus AS THE CHRIST has been delivered, blind eyes are opened, hearts are softer… now they are affected!

v37 Now when they heard this they were stung (cut) to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles (special messengers), Brethren, what shall we do?

And now look, the altar call is next… after their heart has been affected!

v38 And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself. And [Peter] solemnly and earnestly witnessed (testified) and admonished (exhorted) with much more continuous speaking and warned (reproved, advised, encouraged) them, saying, Be saved from this crooked (perverse, wicked, unjust) generation.

And this was the result…

v41 Therefore those who accepted and welcomed his message were baptized, and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.

I can’t stress it enough, if you want to see massive numbers of salvations in your church, first you need to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ within your own life. Take care of the plank in YOUR life, before exporting teachings which aren’t yet even working for you.

What does it mean that He is the Christ? If you need to ask this, then you really are not in a position to see massive salvations. Read again Acts 2:14-42 because in there Peter outlines what it means for Jesus Christ to BE the Christ. It means all the normal things, that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, but it also means that He is the fulfillment of the prophecies in Isaiah and Jeremiah and what does that mean? Peter says He overcame death and decay and His victory was utterly complete.

It’s not your words, it’s your faith

When you preach that to yourself, your life and your family will inevitably change, why? Because it is your faith that overcomes the evil in this world!

For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. – 1 John 5:4

When you are seeing the evil/death/decay of this world recede in your own life, that is a fine time to begin to have an impact on the lives of others. Before you see it in your own life, you haven’t yet come to grips with what He did. If you haven’t come to grips with what He did, then don’t sell it to others.

When the knowledge of what Jesus Christ did – what it means to be the Christ – is within you, it utterly changes how you see this world. A sick person doesn’t look sick to you, you see them as temporarily sick and you see them a already well. Just as Jesus said to the woman “see woman, you are well” and that word “SEE” jumps out to me, because I think Jesus could already SEE her as well, and so He kind of brought it to the forefront.

The words simply focus/facilitate your faith

Just look at the simplicity of Peter healing this man

[When] a certain man crippled from his birth was being carried along, who was laid each day at that gate of the temple [which is] called Beautiful, so that he might beg for charitable gifts from those who entered the temple. So when he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them to give him a gift. And Peter directed his gaze intently at him, and so did John, and said, Look at us! And [the man] paid attention to them, expecting that he was going to get something from them. But Peter said, Silver and gold (money) I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you: in [the use of] the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk! Then he took hold of the man’s right hand with a firm grip and raised him up. And at once his feet and ankle bones became strong and steady – Acts 3:2-7

It was not what Peter said, Peter didn’t give a long speech about Jesus as the Christ. The man didn’t even believe, the man didn’t ask to be healed, the man didn’t even thank them afterwards!!! It’s not what Peter SAID, but it’s what Peter BELIEVED! It’s Peter’s faith in Jesus as the Christ – that sin, death, decay, blind eyes have been overcome – that is what freed the man.

Listen again…

For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. – 1 John 5:4

Everything else (to do with salvation) is secondary and dependent on this one thing!

I know that some churches that get bent of of shape over the holy spirit this and the father that (I do not capitalise those words in this context because it’s a religious thing, not a focus on God Himself) and some get distracted by laying on hands and evangelism and extreme worship… but friends, in the end it is first and foremost about Jesus as the Christ.

He said He is the way, the door, the life, the shepherd and NOBODY can come to the Father except through Him. We are born into sin, born blind, born under the rule of death and the pummeling we receive hardens our hearts so the message bounces off us. It is a freaking miracle that anyone gets saved at all, the odds are so stacked that a severely abused person can believe in a loving God.

First… in your life, before selling it to anyone else

So… to those churches and to anyone reading this… I say… get it down deep within yourself the truth about what Jesus Christ did on the cross and your worship will explode and your numbers will explode too. Make the change start in your own life and then give it to others. Not the other way around.

Or what about when they fronted the sanhedron, take a look at they they say to the leaders – they also speak about Jesus as the Christ!

Then Peter and the apostles replied, We must obey God rather than men. The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree (cross). God exalted Him to His right hand to be Prince and Leader and Savior and Deliverer and Preserver, in order to grant repentance to Israel and to bestow forgiveness and release from sins. And we are witnesses of these things, and the Holy Spirit is also, Whom God has bestowed on those who obey Him. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and infuriated and wanted to kill the disciples. – Acts 5:29-33

And did you see that again they were cut to the heart – but please understand that it was not simply the words which affected them in their heart, it was the faith that was overcoming the state of this word, so that the words can reach them, so that their heart condition changes.

And do you remember when they were put in jail and the Angel of the Lord came and released them? What does the Angel tell them to go do? But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and, leading them out, said,

Go, take your stand in the temple courts and declare to the people the whole doctrine concerning this Life (the eternal life which Christ revealed). – Acts 5:19-20

Well, what do you know?

But we need to see this in context, if this causes you to run our and book a flight to deepest darkest Africa to go spread the gospel, you missed the context. Peter and the disciples first walked with Jesus Christ observing, THEN they had their “Road to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-35) experience before they received the Holy Spirit and then they began to do the big stuff.

And if you look at that Emmaus road teaching (Luke 24:13-35) you will the purpose was to explain the scriptures

And [Jesus] said to them, O foolish ones [sluggish in mind, dull of perception] and slow of heart to believe (adhere to and trust in and rely on) everything that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary and essentially fitting that the Christ (the Messiah) should suffer all these things before entering into His glory (His majesty and splendor)? Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the Prophets, He went on explaining and interpreting to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning and referring to Himself. – Luke 24:13-35

He taught them to see Himself as the promised Christ, and He went further and explained what it meant to BE the Christ, WHY it was so important for the Christ to die and to rise again.

You see, we somehow seem to have trivialized the cross. Jesus was about to go to the cross to die alone, naked and in a very unpleasant way. Failure to some. Embarrassing to others. Humbling to other. The word you use when you imagine Him on the cross explains a lot about how you think.

What do you see on the cross?

What was the word Jesus used for His death on His cross? Glory, honor, exaltation.

When he had left, Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified! [Now He has achieved His glory, His honor, His exaltation!] And God has been glorified through and in Him. – John 13:31

jesus-on-the-crossWhere you and I see a man hanging on a cross with His arms stretched wide in agony and defeat, He has shown me that His hands are wide open to the word in an attempt to embrace us all and give us a hug.

Where you and I see a man crying out to His Father, perhaps in agony, He has shown me that He says “Father forgive them (all) for they (all) know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)

It is our culture to see helplessness as defeat, but Jesus held so much authority and power in His little pinkie finger – but it was His glory and honor and exaltation to allow Himself to be wounded and killed by His own creatures, by His own creation.

And in so doing, He took the fullness of death, sin and every burden (hard hearts, blindness, decay, tears, sorrow) upon Himself and He gave His own life (joy, new spirit, life, consolation) in it’s place.

So, is it necessary to speak out the story of what happened to break the power of evil and release people to respond to Him? No, it is not necessary to speak verbally, because it is your FAITH that overcomes evil. You can worship. You can think it. You can pray. And yes usually I speak it out, forcefully and relentlessly until the condition of the place changes. You can also sit silently, focusing on Him and the truth that He already brought and new heaven and a new earth – and then He SAT DOWN, having completed His work.

What do I believe which results in so many salvations?

But no matter what, it still comes down to that person responding and making a choice. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t MAKE them drink. I never ever believe that they believe, I only ever believe what He has done on the cross. I absolutely limit myself to what scripture says the Christ did for us. I believe eyes are opened. I believe hearts are softened.

I believe His life spread to us. I believe He died for our sins. I believe He died in the place of everyone. I believe He gave us beauty for ashes, consolation, joy for mourning. I believe He bound up broken hearts. All these things are true, Jesus Christ did this for us!! I simply believe it. I believe that sin separated us from God, He turned His face away from us, but now that Jesus took all our sins, His face is turned towards us! I believe we were under a curse because of disobedience, but now that Jesus took the full weight of sin, the full payment of death and He bore the full anger of God… now I believe that we are Beulah (delight!) of God, we are Hephzibah (married!) to Him.

And my faith overcomes the evil of this world and people are reconnected to God and they have the chance and the choice to respond.

Listen again to how you get the victory…

For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. – 1 John 5:4

New heaven and new earth!

The only question is this… what is your faith? Do you believe He took the sin of the whole world and died in the place of everyone, just as scripture says? If that is your daily belief… then you are participating in what scripture calls “the descending heavenly Jerusalem”

Full of faith…

And this has just come to mind. I was thinking about how it’s not my words that change the world around me, but it’s my faith – and the Holy Spirit reminded me of how many times I have heard this phrase in the bible “full of faith”.

And the suggestion pleased the whole assembly, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith (a strong and welcome belief that Jesus is the Messiah) and full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte (convert) from Antioch. – Acts 6:5

For he was a good man [ good in himself and also at once for the good and the advantage of other people], full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit and full of faith (of his belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation). And a large company was added to the Lord. – Acts 11:24

Oh, and… kerpow! ūüėČ

2 responses to “There were added that day about 3,000 souls

  1. Dear Sir,
    What a powerful message. I think even more than you realise. For you can make a horse drink water if you feed him enough salt.
    Leviticus 2:13
    And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

    Mark 9:49-50 (King James Version)

    49For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

    50Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

    In Peace,

  2. The bible says in 2 Chron.16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those who are fully committed to him”.

    What is your faith doing? It is giving honor to God who is looking for those to use mightily in his kingdom. He is looking for the kind of faith that stands the test and doesn’t let the wind and the waves stagger your belief in his power.

    Who knows but God how great our victory on this earth would be if those who consider themselves believers would have the faith to believe that God’s power is greater than that which comes against them in this world!

    You have done a great job of getting this message of faith out there. God bless you as you continue in the kingdom work!!

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