Today we begin a power-packed series—one that could literally change the course of your life. As you listen, you’ll discover the many benefits of proclaiming the Word of God in your life, and how you can affect the lives of others through “The Power of Proclamation.”
Ruth and I, when ministering, always begin this way. God has taught us this and we’ve discovered that proclaiming the word just in faith at the beginning of a meeting makes a tremendous difference in the atmosphere in the meeting and to the anointing on the speaker. We’re going to proclaim Isaiah 55:10–11, which is one of our favorite proclamations. We use it frequently in connection with our radio ministry and its outreach through the earth. So, here we are:
“For as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven, and do not return there but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Amen.”
Now let me say a little bit about the word proclamation, or the verb “to proclaim.” It comes actually from a Latin word which means “to shout forth.” It’s a strong word. There are two related words in the language of the New Testament: confession or “to confess,” and proclamation or “to proclaim.” Confess or confession means to say the same as. And for us as believers in the Bible, confession means that we say the same with our mouths as God has already said in His word. We make the words of our mouth agree with the word of God. And in that way we line ourselves up to receive the full backing and authority of Jesus. In Hebrews 3:1 the writer says:
“Jesus is the high priest of our confession.”
That’s a very important statement. If you have no confession you have no high priest. He’s our high priest in respect of what we confess. In other words, whenever we say with our mouths whatever the Bible says about us as believers in Jesus, then we have Jesus as our high priest in heaven releasing His authority and His blessing. But if we remain silent, in a certain sense, we shut off His ministry as high priest. And if we make the wrong confession we do even worse. In a certain sense, we invite negative forces to surround us and move upon us.
Proclamation is, as it were, confession made aggressive. Proclamation is, in a sense, a word of spiritual warfare. It’s releasing the authority of God’s word into a situation: into our own lives, into the life of the church, into a political situation, whatever it may be. There are countless different situations that need the power of God released into them. And there is no more effective way than to release the power of God into a situation whether it’s your own life, your family, your church, your nation, whatever it may be, than proclamation. Proclaiming is really the activity of a herald. A herald is a word we don’t use very much today, but a herald was a person with authority from a king or a duke or some nobleman who went to the particular area concerned and he made a proclamation of the will and the decision of God of the ruler in that particular place.
In the old days—I don’t know whether you’ve heard this—they used to say, “O yea, O yea,” and then make the proclamation. When they said, “O yea, O yea,” everybody sort of stood to attention and knew this is the voice of authority speaking to us.
And in the New Testament, although it doesn’t come out in most translations, the word for “to preach” is the word of a herald. It’s a word that means to proclaim. One of our favorite scriptures is Matthew 24:14:
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached...”
But we prefer to say:
“...shall be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all the nations; and then the end shall come.”
I’ve been a Bible teacher for just about 50 years and I always felt my duty was to interpret the Bible and explain it and help people to understand it. But about 12 years ago the Lord began to impress upon me the word proclaim. I felt somehow that He was challenging me to go beyond teaching and do proclaiming. And the result was my radio Bible teaching ministry which started on eight stations in the United States in l979 and is now in ten languages and really covers most of the globe. And that is really a ministry of proclamation. I think the key verse that stirred me was Matthew 24:14:
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the word as a witness to all the nations; and then the end shall come.”
I came to see that the age cannot close until we have done our job as the church of Jesus Christ, His witnesses on earth, which is to proclaim this gospel in all the world as a witness to all the nations. And I have learned by experience the tremendous power of the word of God simply proclaimed in faith. It just accomplishes the most marvelous things.
There was a woman in the United States who was everything that a woman ought not to be by Christian standards. She was a Marxist, she was a lesbian, she was a feminist. And she took it seriously. I mean, she was buying revolvers to shoot men with. And somehow or other she found herself in a small ship in the China Sea with some of her nefarious companions and they were going somewhere to do something bad. It seemed that a storm was coming up and so the other people said, “Go down in the hold, turn on the radio and see what you can find about the weather.” She turned on the radio and happened to get my Bible teaching on my proclaiming program from Manila in the Philippines and got saved in the hold of the ship! I mean, it couldn’t have taken more than fifteen minutes because the program is only that long. She’s now is totally different and radical the other way as she was the bad way.
That’s just an example. That was not teaching. I didn’t do a lot of explaining the word proclaimed did its work.
I want to take an example now from Moses when God called him to go back and be the deliverer of Israel out of Egypt. You remember God appeared to him in the burning bush and then God said to him in Exodus 4, “Now I’m sending you back to deliver Israel.” And Moses had lost all his self-confidence, which he had at the age of 40. At the age of 80 he had no confidence in himself. He said, “Why me, Lord? I can’t do it, I’ve got nothing. What could I do it with?” And the Lord said to him, as He always is so practical, “What have you got in your hand?” And Moses looked down and said, “Well, it’s a rod” just like every shepherd in the Middle East carries. He didn’t think there was anything particularly important about his rod. But the Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.” And when he did it became a snake. And Moses ran from his own rod. In other words, there was a potential in that rod he had in his hand, which he had never anticipated or imagined.
Then the Lord said, “Pick it up by the tail,” and everybody who deals with snakes knows you never pick a snake up by the tail. But Moses did. I think he was trembling as he did it. And, it became a rod in his hand. And God said to him in effect, “Now go with your rod, that’s all you’ll need. You can do the whole job with that one rod.” And if you analyze the rest of that part of the book of Exodus, the entire deliverance of Israel out of Egypt was achieved by that rod. Every time Moses wanted God to intervene he stretched out his rod and God intervened. And the result was, in a sense, that Moses wrested the rulership of Egypt out of Pharaoh and had it in his hand in his rod.
And the last scene was the passing through the waters of the Red Sea. When the waters needed to be divided, Moses stretched out his rod, the waters were divided. When the Egyptians were in the water pursuing them, Moses stretched out his rod, the waters returned and destroyed the Egyptians. So, the only instrument he needed for the entire task which God had called him to was that one shepherd’s rod which he didn’t think had any significance when he first held it in his hand.
What I want to suggest to you if you’re a Bible believing, committed Christian, you have a rod. Do you
know what it is? It’s your Bible. If you’ve got a Bible here I’d like you to hold it up. I’d like you to say “This is my rod.” Will you say that? “My Bible is my rod. With it I can do everything God tells me to do.” All right, you may put your Bible down.
Now, the first thing that we need to realize from the scriptures is the power of God’s word. We need to realize that this is a supernatural book. Just like Moses’ rod, it contains power which isn’t obvious when you first look at it. But when you begin to understand it, its power is actually limitless.