No - that is not what I am saying - as you will see if you read what I have written on this thread from the start.
I am saying that FULLY preaching the gospel must be done with the WORD and DEMONSTRATION also. In Scripture we find that the gospel was NEVER preached without miracles - from all that we can see.
So let us seek God for BOTH.
That is all that I am saying.
| 2006/10/7 15:07||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: 'Miracles' normative|
The thing that strikes me is that many on this site - like myself - have become so focused on 'PREACHING' as our major concern - that we have relegated "HEALINGS and MIRACLES" to a lesser place.
Recognize that and understand this as another area that we may be apt to 'play down' with so much spurriousness about us.
But it is a tremndous question, similar to unanswered prayer ... How come? Something from E.M. Bounds has been lingering for some time now about this other question and a whole lot of variables come to the surface; "Is it [b][i]I[/i][/b]? The semantics could go on and invariably faith is tested, patience, waiting, searching ... being searched. There is James' profound question; [i]" Ye ask, but ..."[/i].
Apologize if I can't make a smooth seque between the two, but what came readily to mind is what used to be mentioned here fairly frequently;
The sense is that when things are operating as they should or ought to be that what constitutes 'miraculous' is really quite normal. We are right back to the Ravenhillesque idea that we have become so sub-normal that the 'normal' is abnormal (Quite a leap of a paraphrase there...)
It is hard to put it this way, shouldn't we really be the [i]least surprised[/i], if things were following the course that has been laid before us, apostolically? As a matter of course, signs and wonders [i]following[/i] almost as an after thought? Thinking of Paul's reaction when the people wanted to in essence make him a demi-god of sorts ... Perhaps not exactley the right illustration. What I do notice throughout the apostles examples is what seems to be just a reporting of facts when it comes to these things, that it could be rightly said that they were taken for granted (Not to mean taken advantaged of). That they were expected without expecting them and not at all surprised when they did happen. That is surely a bit overstated and for us, bereft largely of seeing or experiencing them it would be quite surprising I am sure.
It is a large question, where is the authentic amongst the overweighted and imitated? Perhaps the Lord has withdrawn a great deal of it due to a wrong emphesis ... ?
| 2006/10/7 16:18||Profile|
| Re: How come?|
But it is a tremndous question, similar to unanswered prayer ... How come?
When I was first converted to Christ I attended an Apostolic Pentecostal church. For those who may not know, there is [b]a heavy emphasis[/b] among Apostolics concerning the miraculous and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but especially speaking in tongues. I know what it is to be among a group of people that are seeking/expecting to have the miraculous accompany their meetings.
So to the question [i]how come?[/i].
I think of these words from the Saviour
[b][color=660033] If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.[/color][/b]
I think...whoa. What then, would something like this mean for a people such as us, for instance in the US? I wonder too, what would it look like, even how would it reflect upon, God, if He were to visit us with such manifestations?
I think of what the Lord said of Israel
[b][color=000000] Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:[/color][/b]
We know also what happened to the generation that saw Christ
[b][color=660033] And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.[/color][/b]
We might then ask: what of the pagan lands that see so much of the miraculous? Perhaps the reason is just that - they are pagan. If I remember correctly, Leonard Ravenhill said that China had a Gospel witness many hundreds of years ago. If that is true, look how long it was before they got it back, with signs following? Sort of reminds me of the [b]400[/b] years silence between Malachi and John. Maybe in that there is an answer for us too, perhaps what yet remains needfull for us is the same that was for them
[b]...make straight in the desert a highway for our God.[/b]
Christopher Joel Dandrow
| 2006/10/7 17:34||Profile|
I am saying that FULLY preaching the gospel must be done with the WORD and DEMONSTRATION also.
Do you know of any preacher in American that operates this way as a way of life/ministry?
I'm not saying it's not possible because I think signs should follow preaching but do you know anyone who walks and operates like what you are talking about?
| 2006/10/7 19:08|
My first pastor - an old Pentecostal country preacher from the backwoods of Tennessee - operated powerfully in both the prophetic [i]and[/i] the miraculous. He preached the blood of Christ and was as humble and lowly as they get. He never went to a Bible college, and his English was very simplistic. He drove an old, beat-up car and wore inexpensive suits. He would go on very prolonged fasts, and call the worship leader, children's church ministers, and elders to do the same. It was during these times of prolonged fasting that the glory of God would fill the sanctuary like you couldn't imagine. Sometimes the presence of God was too strong for me to handle, too glorious, and it made it hard for me to breathe. When it got like this, the sanctuary would fill with a cloudy haze and devils would sometimes manifest. The church itself was very modest - about fifty people on a packed Sunday. But the congregation was humble, holy and materialistically impoverished. Lots of farmers and elderly women. Most of the younger parishoners were made up of ex-cons and drug addicts and whores saved through his street ministry.
Like I said, the man operated powerfully in the miraculous. Though never having been to a seminary, he could open up Zephaniah and Amos and preach with such wisdom, such anointing, such purity...people would openly weep and go to their knees in the middle of the message. Physical infimities and cancer were routinely healed, with doctors' negative test results waved the following week to a cheering congregation. The pastor would just sit in his chair and smile and weep. He was such a profound man of God. He made it a habit of going into the mountains of southern Mexico once a year to preach in the mud villages through an Indian translator. He would just set up a canopy on the top of one of the mountains, and preach repentance and trust that God would bring the people. During these meetings, people were spontaneously healed and saved. Notorious alcoholics were delievered and soundly converted. Feared drug lords and gunrunners would also get saved during these services and become preachers themselves, in service to the local pastors! This anonymous, unlearned country "pastor" has many awesome testimonies of God moving in those poor mountains; one even on video of a man born lame with deformed, twisted legs straightening out as the bones popped into shape. This same man now walks all throughout the mountains, preaching the gospel and telling people what Jesus did for his legs.
You'll never see this pastor on the cover of [i]Charisma[/i] magazine, nor will you ever see him begging for money on TV, embarassing God. He funds all his ministry and pastorate expenses through faith, and through his own pocket. I wonder how many others like him God has working undercover. I really liked this article by Andrew Strom, but I must say, brother, there are some men who have the balance you speak of. They are still here. Let us go and sanctify our lives for the Master's service, and do thus likewise. Surely, God has anointed and appointed us all to preach this glorious full gospel!
Paul Frederick West
| 2006/10/7 20:02||Profile|
Yes, I agree. These kinds of guys are around. Sadly, many of the ones who get a little "fame" these days soon become part of the "charismatic circuit" or
the 'Prophetic Conference circuit'. Before you know it, many are seduced by money and hype - or flakey "weirdness". So it is getting harder to find purity in the USA in these gifts. -Much harder.
But I am in touch with some whom I regard as moving VERY powerfully in these giftings. And I am committed from now on to make our meetings not just so "word" dominated - but WORD and SPIRIT BOTH. In other words - very strong in both those areas. I feel that our next meetings will have this - a joining of the two.
So I am quite excited.
God bless you all,
| 2006/10/7 23:37||Profile|
When Jesus sent out the 72 and the 12 to minister, miracles were an integral part of the outreach. He instructed them (Luke 10) :-
[color=000099]... and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.[/color]
and notice the effectiveness :-
[color=000099]...I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.[/color]
These men hadn't even received the baptism of the Holy Ghost yet.
While the Bible is clear that we can present signs and wonders without Jesus ever having known us, it is also quite clear that signs and wonders are an important part of full ministry. It's no wonder Satan works so hard to introduce so much confusion in this area.
An important factor is that Jesus strictly separated financial interest from the ministering of the 12 and 72. Mixing personal ambition and ministering in gifts is a lethal mix.
| 2006/10/8 8:42||Profile|
Yes - that is true. But there are "pure-hearted" ones. It is still possible to find them. And if there can be a "joining" of these powerfully 'Spirit'-oriented preachers with the anointed 'Word' oriented ones - isn't it possible that a great move of God could result?
| 2006/10/8 14:44||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: MIRACLES ARE a MUST!! -by Andrew Strom - COMMENTS??|
I immediately thought of a brother in Arizona whom I know moves VERY powerfully in these areas - without hype or any of the other nonsense. -Just pure power of God. -And already we are talking about ministering together.
I am in Arizona and would be interested in knowing who this brother is, if you don't mind sharing his name.
| 2006/10/8 14:56||Profile|
| Re: MIRACLES ARE a MUST!! -by Andrew Strom - COMMENTS??|
AWESOME article! It's so encouraging to hear people who see the scriptural importance of both the preaching of the word and the demonstration of God's power!! As far as one without the other, here is what Paul said....
1Co 2:4 & 5 - And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
~~~It looks like if we have just preaching (without the demonstration of the Spirit and power), our faith rests in the wisdom of men, not the power of God!!!!! Doesn't that describe most of what's happening today??
Also, someone mentioned revivals beginning in prayer (which is where my own heart is right now). I was just thinking about Charles Finney (to use one example) and how important the prayer support was through Daniel Nash and how when "Father Nash" died, the revival cooled down considerably!
Father, send laborers (send me) to pray and seek your face for revival in this land!
| 2006/10/8 15:48||Profile|