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Peter's Shadow by Rev. R.E. Strange - Feb. 20,2004
Visit Rev. Strange's website at Apostolic Library.Com
Can you get a hold of it? Great excitement and astonishment had gripped the city of Jerusalem. From Acts 5th chapter a man and wife secretly conspired to lie concerning an offering. First, the husband coming before Peter fell dead, having lied to the Holy Ghost. Later the wife, unaware of the death of her husband came in to tell the same lie. She was neither warned against lying to the Holy Ghost nor was she told of the fate of her husband who had already been carried out as a corpse and buried by the young men. With her husband’s body already buried, she came before the Apostle Peter and told the same lie that she had conspired with her husband. After being questioned by Peter, the woman affirmed that the lie was the truth. Before her body hit the floor in death, Peter told her what it was that was about to happen to her, and why. She then also fell dead. The same young men that carried her husband out and buried him came in to find her dead also. They took her out and buried her by her husband.
The result was that great fear came upon all the people having witnessed and heard of these events. Holy Fear engulfed the early Church at Jerusalem. They knew that God was walking and talking in the midst of them in the form of humble men who were filled with His Spirit, power and wisdom, from Pentecost. Look at verse 12: "And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch." Great signs and wonders were wrought by the hands of the Holy Apostles, who were given front row seats in the school of Salvation, Healing and Deliverance Ministry for three and a half years, by Jesus Himself. How badly we need some Jesus mentors today!
Possibly on a day shortly after the death of Ananias and Sapphira the city of Jerusalem found their streets crowded with the sick, diseased, the halt, the blind, and those vexed with every unclean spirit. They also came from other cities round about Jerusalem and laid their sick folk on cots, beds and couches. They knew that in Jerusalem there was a man with the glory of God in him.
No doubt they collected in the streets all during the night, with great expectation, preparing for Peter to emerge the next morning from where he had been praying. The bright morning sun was casting a shadow. But there was a much brighter Sun unseen by the natural eye within the bosom of Peter. It was the Sun of Righteousness that had arose in Peter, with healing in His wings (Mal. 4:2).
But it was not the shade or the dark spot on the ground that healed the sick, lame, halt, maimed and infirm, raising them up off their beds and couches. If it was a mere dark spot on the ground, there would be no healing on overcast days. Nor would there be healing in the night or on one side of the street. Not so! The Holy Ghost nuclear power embodied in God’s Holy men was blazing with such an Holy effulgence that nothing of the works of the devil could possibly have remained not burned up in the presence of such radiant radiation of divine power.
Acts chapter two tells us of the many signs and wonders done by these Holy Ghost Nuclear Power Generators. Chapter three mentions a great miracle happening that shook the city. A man known by all to have been lame from his mother’s womb, received his strength and a miracle in his legs and feet, who went running and praising God in the temple when commanded to rise up by Peter. Then, in chapter four the place where they were praying was shaken by the Holy Ghost as a mighty earthquake. Then we come to chapter five.
No, it was not Peter’s power or holiness that wrought the great notable miracles up and down the streets of Jerusalem. In fact, he told the curiosity gawkers that were looking upon himself and John as though they had done some great wonder, “…why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?” It was the power and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ who was going to be given honor, praise and acknowledgement from these Disciples. So it must be today.
We all carry a presence about us. Some have an evil presence. Let them enter a room and the atmosphere changes. Suddenly the peace is disturbed. Children stop laughing. An agitation seems to prevail. Darkness seems to overshadow the place. Ever noticed it? Yes, you have. You can walk out of a church service where the saints were praying, singing in the Holy Ghost, rejoicing and loving the Lord. Afterwards, enter into a juke joint where men and women are drinking, cursing, using the Name of the Lord in vain, who are reveling in the spirit of adultery and fornication. The difference you sense is very, very real.
Science has been able to register this human aurora or life force with instruments. Some have a negative while others have a positive life force. One man of God had some doctors of science to connect his head up to an instrument that could measure this. As he reclined on their examination table hooked up to their machine, he started praising God. The glory of the Lord and a mighty anointing commenced surging through him. The doctor’s instruments peaked out. They had never witnessed such energy registering on their machine before. You can be sure that the devil and his crew are fully aware of this heavenly Atomic Power. This is how it is that a man on Holy Praying ground in America can shake the foundations of hell in China.
I have seen this many times in my own life. Once I picked up some hitchhikers. (I don’t do that anymore since it is too dangerous nowadays.) The woman sat in the front seat. Suddenly her voice changed. As I looked into her eyes. I saw a dark shadow as a dark spot travel across her eyes, “Don’t touch me,” she snarled. Of course, I had no intentions of touching her, but being young I did not understand that it was the presence of God in me that caused the devil to manifest in her. Afterwards I realized that it was not her talking. The devil saw the glory of God in me. I was glad to get her out of the car. Possibly today, I would have spoken to that spirit and commanded it to come out of the woman.
Since that time, I have seen many manifestations of crying devils and that of deliverance simply because of the presence of God radiating out of a man. To the Lord Jesus Christ, who only is worthy of praise, may all honor and glory be bestowed!
I have been in church services conducted by powerful men whose anointing was from the pit. I walked into one of these services already in progress. The whole service broke up. Confusion broke out. It was not until that the wife and I left that any semblance or order was restored to the meeting.
By the same token, we have seen almost every disease come into the meetings. Without anyone laying their hands upon them, diseases began to leave. Just the presence of Jesus in His Holy vessels was quite sufficient to do the work. I learned this for the first time many years ago. I was in deep anointed prayer in a dimly lit church. A brother Rocky who was not yet saved walked into the presence of that prayer and holy worship. He said later, “Brother Strange, I was bound by every devil that there is, it seemed. I was so enslaved by hells’ prison gates. It was as though I had heavy chains all over me. As I heard you pray and felt the presence and glory of God, those chains, one by one fell off of me until I was completely delivered.” I was totally unaware of what was happening at the time. That incident began to bring to my attention what the radiant splendor of God’s heavenly nuclear energy can do.
Saul, (later Paul) met the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus. He saw Him in that dazzling radiance in the heavens, whose brilliance was far brighter than looking at the natural sun in our own heavens. Though struck blind by the light, Paul received the Life of Light. From the time that he received the Holy Ghost after his sight was restored to him, from having looked on that dazzling light, he let that light shine from himself, bringing salvation and deliverance everywhere he went. Devils convulsed and reacted everywhere he went.
Acts 19: 11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went.
Notice, these handkerchiefs and aprons were taken from the body of Paul and sent forth, effecting great miracles of healing and deliverance. I have seen charlatans cut up pieces of their old worn out tent and dupe the people in paying five dollars for a square foot, selling it for more than it cost when it was new. I have seen many other conn jobs on the unsuspecting. But was there some latent power in the clothes of Paul? No. Of course not. But there is a mystery here as to why it works that we should perceive. This verse in Acts is the basis for the practice of sending out “anointed prayer cloths” for the healing of the sick and deliverance of the captive. We do it because it has scriptural foundation. It is seldom done anymore because it does not work among the empty and unbelieving.
You cannot take a handkerchief and send it forth without the atomic power of God in it and expect something to happen. Notice that the handkerchiefs and aprons were taken “from his body.” These articles of clothing that had been on Paul’s body and had been saturated with the flow of divine life that was in him. You see, that radiance of the substance of God that radiated out from him like “Peter’s shadow” had an effect on his clothes. So, that when his clothing came in contact with evil spirits or sickness, the devil fled the scene.
Let me give a natural illustration of this point. The wife and I do not allow smoking in our house. Yet, when I go to some peoples’ houses that smoke, I will always leave with the stink of cigarette smoke in my clothes and in my hair. I can wash my body and scrub my head, but the stink is in the clothes. I usually have to send the clothes to the cleaners to get rid of that foul smell. We once bought a house owned by some smoke addicts. The wife and I labored a great deal to get the smell out of the walls and the carpets. In fact, we finally discarded most of the carpet. What a difference is the house occupied by godly people. The very atmosphere is filled with peace and a heavenly scent that can be detected by even those that have never been in such an atmosphere. This is a natural illustration of something that is spiritual and invisible, both in godly and satanic realms.
Read with me Matthew 17:1-2 of the transfiguring of Jesus:
1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun,
Luke 9:28 describing these same events, used the words, “…as he prayed.” Notice the order of events: First, he prayed, secondly, he was “transfigured.” Next, His countenance was altered and his face shined. Finally, his raiment was affected with a glistening white light, all in that order. It was not something that came upon him externally as though it came from somewhere other than from within Him. It was the visible manifestation and the unveiling of the resplendent glory of the Father that was within Him.
Notice that when His glory was revealed, it caused his countenance to be altered. His countenance shined as the sun. The invisible glory of God, became visible to those wondering and amazed Disciples. The glory of God shone in His face and in the “altered” countenance of Jesus. For only a moment, the vail of flesh was drawn back, and the splendor of His radiant glory that caused the cripples to walk and the blind to see, was seen here by mortal men. Later, as John wrote his Gospel account, he said, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14). Peter made reference to this, saying they “were eyewitness of His majesty” (II Peter 1:16). John also said, “For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness” (I John 1:2).
The radiant glory out of the life and body of Jesus was there all along, but the natural eye could not see it neither could the carnal mind perceive its presence. The leprous multitudes were healed. The maimed received new limbs. The dead came forth. The blinded eyes were opened. Though the religious devils of yesterday as they do today will say that this power is of the devil, but we know that it was the works of the Father being manifested in the man, Jesus. It was the outflow of divine life, the radiant power of the Holy Ghost. When Jesus came by, the atmosphere changed. Joy replaced grief, pain fled away, death retreated, devils screamed in terror. That dazzling, radiant life of the glory of God was felt everywhere he went, bringing the wonderful deliverance to the captive and sweet relief to the vexed and troubled soul.
Jesus said in John 14:12 that we could have the same glory and do the same works that He did and even greater by the same compassion and love that he had for all men. You see, when we finally get it right, in both the love and wisdom of God, there will come forth a church who will radiate that same glory and life that Jesus had. They will do the same works that Jesus did. Though not here yet, there will come such a church in the earth. It must come forth with the same love and compassion that Jesus had. If a believer has any other motive for wanting that power and glory, he becomes a Simon the Sorcerer.
In Exodus 33rd chapter, we find Moses desperately desiring to see God’s glory. God said, “I’ll put you in the clef of the rock and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts; but my face shall not be seen.”
When God said that Moses would see His back parts, He did not mean that He would pass by Moses in a naked body, as a human body, and that Moses would see the back of God’s “body.” Nor did he mean that he would have on a beautiful robe and that Moses would see only the back of the robe and the back of God’s head. What the language of this beautiful scripture is actually getting at is that God’s goodness, His glory, and His divine Presence would pass by, and that the radiance of His glory and Presence would leave a glow all about the rock where Moses stood. It was the result of His Presence, the residue of His power and glory clinging to the earth where God had made a visitation. Moses was allowed to see the “after-glow” of God passing through. But he was not allowed to look into the source, or “face” of this glory. No man can look at the fullness of God, the source of life. We can see the effects of His presence, feel the nearness of Him, but while we still bear the smallest degree of the image of Adam, we cannot enter into the fulness of that shekinah glory!
In the 34th chapter we see Moses descending the mountain with the Ten Words in his arms. It is said that “…Moses wist not (did not know) that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. When Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come nigh him.” (Verses 28-30).
II Corinthians chapter three “…the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance.” The glory came from the presence of God. Moses had to put a vail over his face before they could hear him. Geiger counters are used to see if how much radiation a man has absorbed. Radium is sometime placed on watch dials so that they will glow in the dark. But the radiation that Moses emitted was not a death dealing radiation; it was the life of God. Moses lived the God life. We must learn how to enter into that realm and live the God life. There was a vail over the head of Moses, but God Himself came to earth and veiled Himself with a human body. But, behind that vail was the power and glory of God that radiated outwardly from him, flowing continually, healing, saving, helping, loving and delivering.
When a man of God is walking in the Spirit, believing the promises of God, speaking the Word of God, you can feel the life of God flowing out of him. This is what makes the laying on of hands so effective. Faith in Jesus, along with this physical contact with one who believes, brings great results. Empty hands laid on empty heads never accomplish anything.
How long does this substance of God remain in the body or in the clothing? This would depend on how much exposure the believer had to the Presence of God. One who walks and lives in the Spirit, who stays in His Presence, would have greater radiation of His power, more effective results, and longer staying power. We have an outstanding example of this in the prophet Elisha.
II Kings 13:20-21,
20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
That is all that is said concerning his bones. But why would God have put those words in the story? Here is a prophet who had received Elijah’s mantle. He had asked for and received a double portion of his spirit. Here was one who had recorded twice as many miracles as Elijah, who had caused iron to swim, made the widow’s pot of oil to flow until all her debts were paid, and who had raised the Shunammite woman’s son from the dead. He had lived and walked in the Presence of God. He had healed the poison in the pot of food, fed a hundred men with a handful of food, healed Naamans’ leprosy, and captured an entire army single-handedly by the power of God. The radiant power of God had flowed through him and out of him for years. Now he is dead. But those dead bones still radiated the power of God’s glory and power that had worked in him when he was alive. Yes, it was God’s will for Elisha to go on home to be with the Lord, but when that dead man was thrown in Elisha’s sepulchre and touched his dead bones, there was still enough of the radiant glory of God in those bones to raise the dead. This is enough to illustrate to us that enough exposure to the glory and power of God will impregnate your very body and clothes with miracle power to defeat every work of the devil and destroy every stronghold of the enemy.
This radiating glory is not found in the charm of personalities that so many people are so affectionately enamored with. The power of the anointing is not found in the sparkle and polish of the learned. This heavenly nuclear energy is not found in the glib tongue of one that can set his tongue loose with pretty swelling words. This effulgence is not found in the beauty of inspired oratory as most of Pentecost has now come to believe. But rather, it is found in those who know how to properly worship their God and will remain shut away or shut in with God. They know how to find His Presence and know how to linger there until he is saturated with His glory. The discerning does not need to attend two or three weeks of revival in order to know what spirit a man is of or what his anointing is. I have shaken hands with some men for the first time, and as I shook their hand, I knew that this was a chosen and anointed vessel of God. On the other hand, you hear them by the masses, rattle like the empty wagons that they are.
What was it that knocked the soldiers to the ground that came to arrest Jesus in the garden? It was the radiant power of His glory, and the powers of darkness in them could not stand it the presence of it. When Jesus said to them, “I am” he, a bolt of radiant power shot out of His body knocking them to the ground. He could have destroyed them, but he would not.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s my mothers’ aunt Betsy Talley received the Holy Ghost. My mother had not yet received it. Mother entered my Grandmother’s vegetable garden from one side. Seeing Aunt Betsy on the other side of the garden, from a great distance, called to her. Aunt Betsy looked up from her work. Her face was lit up with a great light. She waved at my mother. Mother told me many times, when “Aunt Betsy waved at me, there were powerful undulating, pulsating waves that came out of her hand with each wave which finally knocked me to the ground.” Soon mother became possessed with a great hunger to have the same glory that aunt Betsy Talley had received at the Brush Arbor.
Brothers and Sisters, the power is real, but you will not find it among the fakery and the unholy that has taken over in every quarter, especially on TV and in an ever-growing number of Pentecostal/Apostolic pulpits. They think that they have learned how to turn on the anointing with spit, bluster, sweat, strained vocal chords, but it is not anointing. They are deceiving and being deceived. Too many shallow barked sermons have addressed the irrelevant, brought no life, light or deliverance, being totally void of the love and compassion that possessed Jesus. God said that the Prophets have become wind.
Saints, let us refuse the robotic gyrations expected of us by the celebrated Screaming Priests who have, by the most part replaced the Teaching Priests. Audience approval demanded in audience response is the crack-cocaine of the egotistical Screaming Priest. Oh, let us lament for the absence of the blessed, Holy quietness of the Teaching Priests that have been alone with God who are saturated with His glory and power, though unpolished and very often crude, having his own “Peter’s shadow.”
Beloved, do you want this power and glory? You can have it. Are you willing to go to your own Mountain of Temptation, and on to your own garden of Gethsemane? Are you willing to renounce every evil way to follow Jesus in the regeneration? You are willing? Then, you will have to go the Jesus way. Jesus said that He is “The Way.” You must learn to live His kind of life that begins and ends with prayer, lingering in the presence of God absorbing the same transcending, transfiguring, transforming, changing power from the presence of God within you. Yes, Peter’s shadow is still here with us today. We can have what was not for Peter alone, but for all of us that hunger and thirst after this kind of presence and glory.
The transfiguration of Jesus is something that all true over-comers must participate in. The same identical Greek word used in Mark ninth chapter, translated there as “TRANSFIGURED,” is used two other places related to us. Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world, but BE YE TRANSFORMED….” Then in II Cor 3:18 that word is used again when it says: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are CHANGED into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Paul says in II Cor. 4:7, “But this treasure we have in earthen vessels.” Praise God that the treasure is truly here. We must desire it with our whole hearts as did Moses, Elisha and the Disciples, learning to let it radiate.
Right now, in the quietness of your own home, you can put your hands up toward heaven as though you were reaching for Jesus. Fixing your mind upon Him and His all sufficiency and not upon yourself and your own insufficiency, began to praise Him with whispered hushed tones. As you quietly praise Him with your whole heart, you will soon feel his Presence as you are lifted up into a heavenly realm. Praise God! You can learn to walk in that Presence and allow it to grow more intense, having your own Peter’s Shadow.
Yours In Christ,
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