Friday, May 23, 2008

Peter and Dorcas

Peter showed what how elders should deal with sickness when Dorcas died in Joppa. He went to Joppa as an elder, because something was wrong in the Church. The devil had scored a home run in this infant church, so Peter sent and tipped the battle back the other way.

I am not sure why there were no elders in Joppa to deal with this problem. It may be that no elders had been raised up at this early stage of the gospel advance, or maybe the elders were inexperienced and just accepted that Docas’s death was inevitable. Anyway, some of the disciples knew they should call on an elder to deal with the attack.

Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!" (Acts 9:38).
Peter came to Joppa and took the battle to the enemy.

Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed.

Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up (Acts 9:40).
Peter prayed and got assurance from God that her life on earth was not complete. Once he knew that this was a attempt by the devil to take out a key leader in a fledgling church, he resisted the devil by commanding her to sit up. She was healed immediately. Peter restored the church in Joppa to the way God wanted it to be. Sickness and death had intruded where they do not belong, so Peter got rid of them.

Another example is Paul speaking to the Church in Troas. A young man called Eutychus fell out the window and died. Paul went down and laid on him to bring the man back to life. . Paul was acted as an elder to correct something that had gone wrong in a church. The devil had killed a key young man whose role on earth was not finished. Paul restored him so that the church would be complete. If he had let the devil win, the church would be weaker in two ways. It would lose a valuable member, but more importantly, its level of faith would be weakened. A good elder could not let that happen.

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