Sunday, December 24, 2023

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


God continues to call His saints to the secrets of the Council of God.  Miracles are part of the ascended life of the saints in Christ Jesus.  Miracles should be an everyday part of our life.  Heaven’s law is the “law of faith(Rom 7:22); the “law of righteousness” (Rom 9:31),the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”




When Peter and John were arrested for healing a man in the name of Jesus in the temple area, (Acts 4) they were taken before the chief priests and put on trial.  The healed man was present as a living testimony of the power and goodness of the miracle performed.  The hands of the Sanhedrin were tied by the evidence of the healed man.  Peter being empowered by the Holy Spirit addressed a prayer to the Sovereign Lord. 


Acts 4:29: Now Lord, behold their threatenings; and grant unto your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word.  By stretching forth your hand to heal and that signs (semeion=miracles) and wonders may be done by the name of your holy child, Jesus.  When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.


At the mention of the name of the holy child, Jesus, there was a renewed manifestation of the power among believers.  The prayer was answered here and in succeeding passages.


When the Angel of the Lord visited the shepherds telling them of the birth of the Christ Child, the angels declared His birth was a miracle. 


Luke 2:12: This shall be a sign (semeion = miracle) unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.(SemeionG4592 = sign, miracle, wonder, token.)


Our Lord Jesus Christ was conceived by a miracle of God.  His birth was declared by angels to be a miracle.  His ministry was announced and confirmed by miracles.  His resurrection was a miracle and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a miracle.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit are miraculous.


Through the miracle of our salvation and being Born Again, we are in union with Jesus Christ.  Our life is now in Christ, and we too are a miracle.   Once we receive and believe that we have ascended with Him, we immediately receive a new perspective.


Peter and John were in union with Jesus, and they had a new perspective.  They had God’s point of view, His outlook, standpoint, and angle.  The revealed Word impacts men and women, lifting them into new dimensions.  We see things we have never understood before.  We have a new understanding of ourselves and our role in His ultimate purpose, and how that that purpose unfolds.  We adjust our worldview to line up with the Word of God.  Our citizenry, all our rights and privileges, are in the heavens.


You don’t have to wait until tomorrow to walk in this.  The prophetic anointing, the word of faith and the working of miracles enables those who are with Christ in heavenly places.


Acts 4:13: When the Sanhedrin saw the boldness of Peter and John, they perceived they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.

What is a miracle?

1.     An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.  (2) Such an effect or event manifesting or considered a work of God. (3) A wonder; marvel.

The Supernatural power of the Holy Spirit falls into three categories:


1.     SPEAKING MINISTRY:  Divers kinds of tongues; Interpretation of tongues; and Prophecy.

2.     KNOWING MINISTRY: Word of knowledge; Word of Wisdom; Discerning of spirits.

3.     DOING MINISTRY: These power or action gifts enable us to ACT (do the works of) Act like God:

a.     Faith---The God-given ability to believe God for the impossible.

b.     Working of Miracles – The God-given ability to perform the impossible.

c.      Gifts of Healings – The God-given ability to impart healing for the physical body at certain specific times.


Working of miracles is most often manifested through the Office of the Apostle, Prophet, and Evangelist.  It is also a separate body ministry described in 1 Cor. 12:29 as “Workers of Miracles.”  We are told to earnestly desire this gift (1 Co. 12:31) and to not neglect the gift.  It can be imparted by grace through prophecy and laying on of hands (1 Ti. 4:14).  The Evangelist is the gatherer in the 5-fold ministry.  Working of miracles gathers the people, raises their faith level, and then God meets them. 


Acts 5: 12-14: Through the hands of the apostles many signs (miracles) and wonders were done among the people…believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.


I am blessed to have a Gift of Faith.   I have the faith to believe the Lord for anything written in His Word or which He speaks to me, or is spoken by the Holy Spirit through His prophets.


 Hebrews 11:6: Without faith it is impossible to please God; for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


1.     Faith is a spiritual force.  God is a spirit.  He is a faith-God who is only pleased by faith.

2.     Faith is the absence of doubt, the opposite of fear. 2 Tim 1:7: For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

3.     Faith is in the present tense.  NOW FAITH IS the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

4.     Faith is a gift.  It is an impartation of the Lord. Rom. 12:3: I say, through the grace given unto me, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.  A big ego does not constitute the supernatural power of “Faith”. 

5.     Faith is a fruit.  It grows. Rom.1:17: Therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, the just shall live by faith (Gal. 5: 22-23).

6.     Faith comes by the hearing of the Word of God. Rom. 10:17: Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

7.     Faith speaks.  Rom 10: 6-10: But the righteousness which is by faith speaks


  We live by His faith.  Gal. 2:20:  I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me.”


 Faith says that when we know something is from God, we can run straight forward into it. 


He that ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, is it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?


A miracle is a free gift from God.  It can’t be earned, bought, or deserved.  This particular gift knows no respecter of persons.  It is a great equalizer.  An 80-year-old saint and a newborn Christian receive of this free gift equally.  This same grace was made available to the Gentiles when they received the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ and all the benefits of the Kingdom of Grace.  God was and is no respecter of persons between the faithful Jew who obeyed the law and the pagan Gentiles.


That is what makes gift of miracles so much fun.  It takes away all struggling.  As a Pastor, this is one of the reasons I was slow in seeing the long-term benefit of miracles (Not that I didn’t appreciate miracles---I would and will take all I can get).  I was trying to help people mature, stabilize, commit, and be fruitful.  This is valid and important in the Kingdom.  However, Working of Miracles shows no preference over the fruitful, mature saint, and an immature baby Christian.



1.     We receive our Salvation by Faith.

2.     We receive Christ’s righteousness by Faith.

3.     We believe the Word of God by Faith and walk in obedience to His Word by Faith

4.     We receive the Holy Spirit by Faith.

5.     We prophesy and operate in the Gifts of the Spirit by Faith.

6.     We obey His spoken Word.  As we walk by Faith in that Word,     then we receive the promises.

7.     We are led by the Holy Spirit by Faith.

8.     Faith is the substance of things hoped for.

9.     Faith is the evidence of things not seen.

10. Faith has the invisible backing of the great cloud of witnesses.

11. Faith trusts in an unknown future.

12. Counts things that be not as though they were.

13. Assurance of God’s faithfulness.

14. Confidence in things to come.

15. The lifeblood of the just.

16. Faith is the shield of the Christian armor.

17. Faith is the down payment of things desired.

18. Faith is our guarantee of answered prayer.


Trust the Lord.  Living by faith is not risky because it is based upon the Word of God (Rom 10:17).  We must arise into the ascended life to hear God talk with Himself.   In that high place, there is nothing to fear.  From that perspective all our enemies, challenges and fears are defeated, under our feet.


We do not have to strain or strive for this.  This savor of Christ is totally unlike the sweat of Adam.  We can make a mistake and still have this.  We can mess up this week and not lose this.  The “eternal Spirit” (Heb. 9:14) guides and leads us into all truth. 


Job. 15:8: “Have you heard the secret of God? ...

Job. 15:8: “Do you listen in on God’s council? ...” NIV


Do you sit down and talk things over with God.  Do you hear the secret of God upon the tabernacle of your life?


Ps. 25:14: The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant.


The ascended life begins at our new birth, when we are “born again,” literally, “born from above” (John 3:7).  From that moment, every child of God is privileged by the blood of Jesus to boldly enter the holiest of all.  His grace permits the youngest Christian to go in, sit down in His divine presence, be still and then listen to God talk to Himself!


This high calling, this ascended life, is not deep and mysterious.  It is not a spiritual Never-Never-land.  In this place, we convene with God.  As with intimate friends, both talk and both listen.  The ascended life is the life of hearing His voice, being in His presence and living in His Glory.  In that realm, miracles become part of our everyday life.


The impartation of His Presence is that we give away and share the gift that we are, and the gifts that we have.  He has made us His gift, and He has given us gifts.


James 1:17: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


I shared this charming Christmas miracle story in 2008.  I am sure everyone is familiar with the story and some who are here will remember when I used the story to encourage all of us to expect a miracle, and not just one miracle, but a life filled with the supernatural intervention of God into our day to day lives.



“The Christmas Candle,

by Max Lucado


The setting is in the English countryside stepping inside centuries-old village churches, sheep-covered hills, sitting by firesides in country inns in the quaint world of the 1860’s.  He calls the story a Christmas novella.  That is a nice name for a lovely fictitious story of a visitation of an angel who lit the flame of a candle every 25-years.


As the story is told, the first Christmas visitation was December 1664 to the village candle maker.  The angel visited the candle-maker and his wife in the night and lit one candle.  They were Christians, and they pondered this wonder.


The candle maker’s wife was ministering to a widow and her plight of no food for the children.  She reached into her pocket for a coin and felt the candle (the one the angel lit).   She handed both to the young mother inviting, “light this and pray” (The prayer of Faith).


To shorten the story, Before Christmas, the young widow was blessed with a farm given to her by a wealthy uncle.  She gave her testimony at St Mark’s church in the village at the final Sunday of Advent.


So, the story continued generation after generation with the visitation of the angel and the miracle blessing to whoever was given the candle.  Their whole life changed from distress to blessedness.    As each generation worshipped in the village church, all the people of the village believed in the miracles.


The author was very clear to make the point; the miracle was not in the candle, but in the Faith of believing the Lord and the expectation of a miracle from the Hand of God.  This is known in the Book of Acts as the Point of Contact.


Scripturally we can identify this novella with the visitation of the angel at a certain season at the pool of Bethesda.


John 5: 1-16: … Now there at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.  In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.  For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool and troubled the water; whosoever stepped in first after the troubling of the water was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. A certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty-eight years.


Jesus walked by and said unto him, “Rise take up your bed and walk.”


The novella moved on until December 1864.  the chandlers’ (candle makers), Edward and Bea, had fallen asleep waiting for the visitation of the angel.  When the angel appeared and lit the candle, Edward was startled awake as the angel touched a candle toward the end of the third row of candles.  Edward took a step and lost his balance.  As he fell face forward, he thrust one hand high in the air, hoping to grab the just-touched candle.  Instead, he hit the rack and knocked it off the hooks; sending thirty candles---thirty identical candles flying around the room.


That year many of Edward and Bea’s friends had visited them telling them of their need for a miracle.  Edward and Bea needed a miracle to find their granddaughter who had run away to London to have a baby out of wedlock.


Bea burst into tears, “now what? We have thirty candles.  One of them is special, and we don’t know which!”  So, they put all thirty candles in a basket waiting for the Lord to give them instructions.


The following week, many of the villagers and friends came to see them, each with a need for a miracle.  Edward and Bea with compassion gave each one a candle, not knowing which one would receive a miracle.  At the end of the week, the candle basket was empty except for one candle.  This one Edward and Bea lit and prayed the Lord would give them a miracle.


To their great joy, at the traditional Christmas Eve service, twenty-nine parishioners gave a testimony of receiving a miracle.  The alcoholic was delivered.  The sinner was saved.  The financial miracle came through.  The loved one was restored.  The lame walked and the blind saw.   That only left Edward and Bea.  The Happy ending of the story finds the grand daughter and new born baby safe in the village of Gladstone.


I have a basket of candles here.  The candles have no power for miracles; however, your faith is the point of contact for your miracle.   The Lord Jesus Christ can walk by and speak the Word and every person in this room can have their life changed with healing, deliverances, financial miracles, salvation of lost loved ones, the blind see and the lame walk.  I would never want to imply any superstition in the candle but challenge your Faith to believe for your visitation and special touch from the Lord Jesus Christ.



Col. 1:12: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;  


The point of the Novella was the Faith of the villagers in a supernatural visitation of the Lord Jesus Christ activated the gift of miracles.


Would any one like one of the candles?  We will also receive communion.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX.

Scripture from K.J.V. and N.I.V. as indicated.

I entered into the labors of Rev. Kelly Varner (1949-2009) – Secrets of the Ascended Life.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.  Excerpts from sermons by Carolyn Sissom – Gift of Miracles and Faith is a Fact I;  The Christmas Candle, by Max Lucado, West Bow Press, Copyright 2006

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