As we read the Bible we see great things happened in the lives of men when the Lord manifested Himself in power and glory. Many of these instances were physical deliverance of a person or a nation. These can be applied as spiritual deliverance for “all scripture is profitable for doctrine.” (II Tim. 3:16) Also there were times the Lord manifested Himself to save the person from sin, yet the Bible did not give specific details about those saved. Why? Because He knew we would try to imitate those experiences. What I want to deal with in this article is “What was behind the manifestations of the Lord in the Scripture?”
Many men have come up with their own thoughts as to what caused the Lord to show up--manifest Himself. When they think they have the answer, it becomes their hobby horse and they try to make the Lord show up and save someone. When they do this they put God in a mold and usually all that happens is that false professions are made. Therefore, I want to look at what some would say is behind the Lord manifesting Himself by using an incident in Scripture to back it up.
1. Some say crying out.
Some would say the “crying out” of the children of Egypt in bondage caused the Lord to manifest Himself to Moses at the burning bush. (Exo. 2:23-25; 3:9-10) The Lord told Moses to go deliver the children of Egypt and he went. Moses had to find out what wouldn’t work so he could find out what would. The first nine plagues; water turned to blood, frogs, lice, flies, murrain on cattle, sore boils on men, fire mingled with hail, locusts, and darkness did not cause Pharaoh to let the people go. But the tenth plague, death of the firstborn in the house where blood was not applied, worked and they were delivered. The people cried out and the Lord manifested Himself.
Blind Bartimaeus cried out in Mark 10:47. No doubt he had to find out what wouldn’t work so he could find out what would. I’m sure he had cried out to doctors and others until he desperation set in and then Jesus passed by. This time when he cried out the Lord manifested His power and healed him.
2. Some say fasting.
The king of Nineveh proclaimed a fast when Jonah came preaching destruction. And the Lord manifested Himself and did not judge them. (Jonah 3:4-10)
3. Some say faith.
In Mark 2, four men came to where Jesus was bearing a paralytic. They tore the roof off because they could not get in the door for the multitude of people around Jesus. They let the paralytic down at Jesus feet. And Mark 2:5 reveals that when Jesus saw their faith (faith of the four as well as the paralytic), He manifested His power and healed the man.
4. Some say singing and praising.
We see the account of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, besieged by Moab, Ammon, and Mt. Sier. The king was outnumbered and appointed singers to praise the Lord. The Bible says when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushments against the enemy. The Lord manifested Himself, defeated the enemy, and it took three days to gather the spoil. (II Chron. 20:15, 21-22, 25)
5. Some say Preaching.
Philip preached at Samaria and revival broke out because the Lord manifested Himself. (Acts 8:5-8)
6. Some say Praying.
They use Pentecost as an example by saying those in the upper room had a ten day prayer meeting and the power of God fell and 3000 were saved before the day was over. (Acts 1:13-14; 2:1-2) This truly was a great manifestation of our Lord!
7. Some say by giving thanks.
When King Darius signed the decree that anyone caught praying to any God or man except the king would be thrown into a den of lions, Daniel gave thanks before his God as he was accustom to doing. True to the petition, Daniel was thrown into the den of lions and the Lord manifested Himself by closing the lions’ mouths and Daniel was safe through the night. (Dan. 6:9-22)
8. Some say Continue in His Word.
Jesus told a group of Jews who believed on Jesus with the head and not the heart, that if they would continue in His word they would come to know the truth which would be equivalent to being saved, which would take a manifestation of the Lord. (John 8:31-32) The woman with an issue of blood did what she knew to do at the time and she continued and the Lord manifested His power to her and healed her. (Mark 5:25-29) The man at the pool of Bethesda had continued coming to the pool for years hoping to be healed when the angel stirred the water. And one day the Lord came by and manifested His power to him and healed him. (John 5:5-9) The Syrophenician woman in Mat. 15:22-28 continued and would not take no for an answer and the Lord manifested His power and her daughter was made whole that very hour.
9. Then we see there is nothing recorded behind some manifestations of the Lord.
The Lord manifested His power to the maniac of Gadara and cast out a legion of demons and saved him. (Mark 5:1-13) Then we see Zacchaeus had climbed a tree to see Jesus and the Lord manifested Himself to him and saved him. (Luke 19:3-6) Also in John 9:1-3, 6-9 the Lord manifested His power and healed the man born blind and then later came by and manifested Himself to him and saved him. (John 9:35-38) A sinful woman met Jesus at Jacob’s well and He manifested Himself to her and saved her. (John 4:4, 25-26)
Now let me ask a question. What was behind the manifestation of the Lord in the Scripture? Is it crying out, fasting, faith, singing and praising, preaching, praying, giving thanks, or continuing? A look at all these instances in the Bible lets up know there has been a common denominator. In math, before you can add fractions, you have to have a common denominator. And before you can answer (add all this up spiritually) this question, you must have a common denominator. What is it? I can tell you. It is the Lord Jesus Christ coming on the scene.
He has a time for all things. It is His work. He will be on time--His time and He always has been “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” (Gal. 4:4)
In every one of the instances we dealt with in this article, when the Lord manifested Himself, there were more things behind the scene than what I mentioned. These were just the major themes of these instances. Take for instance, the praying before Pentecost. Luke 24:49-53 reveals that thy were not only in the upper room for ten days but they “were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.” They were not in a ten day prayer meeting as we have been taught. They did not pray the power of God down as we have been taught. The Lord had already promised to send the comforter--the Holy Ghost. (John 14:16-17) And just before He ascended, He told the disciples not to depart from Jerusalem for the fulfillment of the promise of the Spirit would be “not many days hence.” (Acts 1:4-5) Then, like He promised, the Holy Ghost came on Pentecost.
We need to do what we know to do at the time, whether it be crying out, fasting, faith, singing and praising, preaching, praying, giving thanks, or continuing in His Word as long as it is in the will of God. Then when the Lord manifests Himself, we will not be able to say look what I’ve done. No! He will get all the glory and that is the way it should be. So just do what you know to do and He will show up right on time. He will manifest Himself to you.
THE PERSUADER - January -March, 2006