The “FULLY PREACHED” GOSPEL
-from the archive of David Wilkerson.
The apostle Paul said to his generation: “I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:19). And he described the “fully preached” gospel as one that is much more than words. It is a gospel of words and deeds! “For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed” (v. 18).
Paul was saying, “The Gentiles turned to Christ not because of my preaching alone, but because my words were accompanied by miraculous deeds!”
“In mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel” (v. 19).
If Paul had preached and taught without signs and wonders following, his message would not have had its full impact. It would not have been the gospel fully preached! He said to the Corinthians, “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds”
(2 Corinthians 12:12)
Note Paul’s words in this verse: signs, wonders, mighty deeds. Most Christians today cringe when they hear these words! Why? Because these words have been made an abomination by unscrupulous, power-hungry preachers and teachers! The great tragedy is that such perversions have caused many God-fearing pastors, evangelists and laypeople to turn away from the truth of a fully preached gospel.
Beloved, God is still God—and He is mighty in working miracles and wonders! He is still our healer and He wants to show Himself strong on behalf of those who trust in Him! Great supernatural workings took place in the New Testament church without any perversions—without advertising, showmanship or any person claiming all the power and authority. The ministry of Paul is an example:
At Troas, while Paul was preaching a long message, a young man fell asleep while sitting on a window sill and fell three stories to the ground. The Bible says the young man was “taken up dead” (see Acts 20:9-12).
When Paul got to where the boy was, he quieted everyone. Then, just as Elijah had done, he stretched himself out over the dead boy and suddenly life came back into the young man. The boy had been resurrected—raised from the dead! What a mighty miracle!
After this happened, Paul did not send everyone out to spread the news that a miracle had taken place. No, that was not what happened at all. Everyone simply went back to the third floor, took communion, and Paul continued preaching. Scripture does not even mention the young man again. Why? Because the church expected supernatural works to happen! They preached a full gospel—with signs and wonders following!
MORE than PREACHING & TEACHING
I believe the gospel should be accompanied by the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost—working mighty wonders, proving
the gospel is true!
Paul boldly stated, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). The Greek here means “with proof.” Paul was saying, “I preach the gospel with proof. God and the Holy Spirit are backing me up with signs and wonders!” Hebrews 2:4 says that God did confirm Paul’s message with signs and wonders: “God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will.”
The New Testament believers had one prayer: “That signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus” (Acts 4:30). These apostles went everywhere fully preaching the gospel.
“Many wonders and signs were done through the apostles” (Acts 2:43). “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. . . . And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women” (Acts 5: 12, 14).
Here is one of the most conclusive of all verses—proving that a fully preached gospel must include signs and wonders: “They stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3). This verse says that the apostles ministered boldly for a long time, preaching grace and repentance, and then God granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
God’s last-day church will go “out and [preach] everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs” (Mark 16:20). That is what God envisions for us.
The miracles of this last-day church will be genuine, indisputable, undeniable, and yet they will not be well known. Instead, they will issue forth from the hands of ordinary, holy, separated saints who know God and are intimate with Jesus.
These believers will emerge from the secret closet of prayer—a small, prepared army full of faith, with no other desire than to do the will of God and glorify Him. They will be fearless and powerful in prayer. They will open entire nations for the gospel and God will confirm His Word by their mighty deeds!
Joel 2:16, Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.