| Re: |
I once attended a healing seminar sponsored by a Third Wave-type church. The man who led the meeting was not some big-hair faith healer in a chrome suit, but a humble pastor. After a few words he said, "We're going to invite the Spirit to come and minister now." And a presence seemed to descend from the ceiling and rest on the congregation. Soon people were going down under the power all over the place and exhibiting all sorts of strange manifestations. Some people freaked and ran out of the room. The pastor came to me, touched my hands with his fingertips and said, "Do you feel that?" "Yes." It felt as if tiny jolts of electricity were coming from his fingertips. "God is going to use your hands to minister to people. Now turn to this lady behind you, put your hand on her and pray that God will give her what He has given you." So I did, and it was just like I'd read about in the Vineyard books: it felt like 120 volts of electricity running down my arm and in to her--and she looked like she was being electrocuted! She shook violently and crashed into her chair, sobbing. I prayed for a few other people and nothing happened. I left there utterly bewildered.
Deep down I felt there was something fishy. I knew to "try the spirits, whether they are of God" but was afraid to, because the consequences of making the wrong judgment were terrifying. If this was from God, and I adjudged it a demonic spirit, that would be akin to the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. If, on the other hand, it was a demonic counterfeit and I embraced it as a gift from God...
But perhaps it was neither. Despite the incredible manifestations, no real healings or anything else requiring a supernatural explanation took place--nothing that couldn't be effected by a stage hypnotist. Of course, the pastor probably had no intention of using hypnotic techniques; he had just learned, through trial and error, what methods bring about the results he believed accompanied divine visitations.
It didn't hold up well under the light of Scripture, either. "Let all things be done decently and in order" and "If one sits in the seat of the unlearned and all speak in tongues, will he not say ye are mad?" Anyone who had walked into the room that night would have thought he had wandered into Bedlam. Also, admission was $15. It's difficult to envision the disciples charging a shekel to those who came to Jesus for healing.
Jonathan Edwards' "Religious Affections" also shed light on the subject. He said that spiritual affections are never heat without light, but they come about because the child of God understands something more of spiritual things than he did before. Sometimes these powerful dispensations of grace to the soul can produce striking physical reactions. But demonic counterfeits often begin as purely physical sensations unrelated to any activity of the heart and mind. That was the case with me that evening.
The verse that clinched it for me and led me to leave this fellowship in favor of something more Bible-oriented was: "God is not the Author of confusion." The whole time I was with the signs and wonders movement I was chronically confused.
It's a little off-subject, but the pastor who led this seminar told a fascinating story:
He had labored as a pastor for years and had only a meager congregation and little fruit to show for it. He started praying over a map of his city and claiming territory for the Kingdom of God. One night a demon resembling Jabba the Hutt appeared to him and said, "Why are you troubling me?" He announced himself as the prince of the city. Each night he would do battle with the demon, claiming the city block-by-block. While he was engaged in this strange acivity, his congregation quickly grew to several hundreds and was visited with signs and wonders.
| 2009/3/23 21:33||Profile|
| Re: |
here are a couple of examples of believers that were not afraid of letting the Holy Spirit move freely
Testimony 1 - by Brother Yeung
In 1987, Pastor Dennis Balcombe came and led us into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Since then we started to see miracles happening as we go out to preach the Gospel. Because of the miracles, many people came to know the Lord. One time other co-workers and I went to a meeting. There was a 40 years old lady who was demon possessed who came into the meeting. She was scolding and screaming at us while I was preaching. She was disturbing the whole meeting so that I could not continue to preach. I then asked the whole congregation to kneel down and pray. As we were praying, she came to the front and continued scolding and laughing at us.
I then stood up and said, 'In the name of Jesus shut up!'
Not only she did not shut up, but she said the same thing to me, 'In the name of Jesus you shut up!'
I then said, 'In the name of Jesus kneel down!' but she said the same thing back to me.
Whatever I said she would repeat the same thing. I had never experienced that before. I didn't know what to do but cry out to God desperately.
I prayed to God, 'I don't want to be defeated by the power of the devil.' I decided that no matter how long it may take or how hard it was, I was going to continue to pray until the demon was cast out.
At that time I knew that I could not pray in the understanding for she would repeat every word I said. So I laid my hands on her and started to pray in tongues. As I continued to pray I discovered that she wasn't saying anything and she was softening down. As she became weaker, I became stronger in the Spirit. Then the lady tied her hands together and put her head down to the floor. She cried out, 'Please don't pray anymore!'
I continued to pray in tongues. After a while, she felt on the floor like a dead person. Then after a few minutes, she woke up and was back to normal. Because of this miracle, many people believed in the Lord in that village.
Testimony 2 - by Brother Yeung
One time we had a evangelistic meeting in a village. Many people came to the meeting to listen to the Gospel. But as my co-worker was preaching, some gangsters came in the meeting to cause trouble. When I saw them coming in, I asked my co-worker to sit down and I stood up to preach.
I thought to myself the reason that they were causing trouble was because they didn't know the greatness of God. So I spoke loudly that our God is a true and a great God and He is able to perform miracles. Then I prayed to God to perform a miracle. I then asked the congregation if anyone was deaf. Then a sister brought a lady up who was deaf. As soon as I prayed for her, she was immediately healed. I then asked all who were deaf to come forward and that night they were all healed.
The gangsters were amazed as they saw the miracles happen. Some people in the meeting including the gangsters went back to their home and brought back their family members who were sick. There were eight paralyzed people who came and six of them were healed immediately. Because of the miracles, the whole village including the gangsters all believed in Jesus.
I believe the reason for such a great revival in China first is by preaching the word of God and second is by the miracles of God.
Thank you Jesus for the wonderful Holy Spirit
| 2009/3/23 21:36||Profile|
| Re: |
I found this in the archives of SI. It sheds a little light on why the church is so afraid of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit
"There was a young woman there with a stiff hand. Instead of the mother making the child use her arm she had allowed the child to keep the arm dormant until it was stiff, and she had grown up to be a young woman and was like the woman that was bowed down with the spirit of infirmity. As she stood before me I cursed the spirit of infirmity in the name of Jesus. It was instantly cast out and the arm was free. Then she waved it all over. At the close of the meeting the devil laid out two people with fits, When the devil is manifesting himself, then is the time to deal with him. Both of these people were delivered, and when they stood up and thanked and praised the Lord what a wonderful time we had.
We need to wake up and be on the stretch to believe God. Before God could bring me to this place He has broken me a thousand times. I have wept, I have groaned, I have travailed many a night until God broke me. It seems to me that until God has mowed you down you never can have this longsuffering for others. We can never have the gifts of healing and the working of miracles in operation only as we stand in the divine power that God gives us and we stand believing God, and having done all we still stand believing.
We have been seeing wonderful miracles these last days and they are only a little of what we are going to see. I believe that we are right on the threshold of wonderful things, but I want to emphasize that all these things will be through the power of the Holy Ghost. You must not think that these gifts will fall upon you like ripe cherries. There is a sense in which you have to pay the price for everything you get. We must be covetous for God's best gifts, and say Amen to any preparation the Lord takes us through, in order that we may be humble, usable vessels through whom He Himself can operate by means of the Spirit's power."
| 2009/3/23 21:54||Profile|
Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada
| Re: |
A great word from Smith Wigglesworth, thanks.
Demons were always manifesting themselves, in the Presence of Jesus.
Love in Christ tom
| 2009/3/24 0:01||Profile|
| Re: |
Reading through these responses--and I must say, a few of you have witnessed some far-out stuff :-o --this passage, Luke 8:26-39, came to my mind, but especially the verse where the demons had been cast out of a demoniac and what the resultant state of that man was like:
35 And all the people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened.
What was frightening to these people was that this once demon-driven man now seemed perfectly normal. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. He makes a new creation out of what seems hopelessly lost.
The amazing result of this man's deliverance was seen in verse 39, where Jesus sends him away with a command to go and tell, and that is just what he does:
39 "Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you." And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
This is more what I would come to expect of a person who has had a life-changing encounter with Christ. Some of the stuff I have read in this thread makes it look as if some people leave a service in a worse state than when they came.
God is a God of order, not confusion.
Grace to all, and peace.
| 2009/3/25 13:24||Profile|
| Re: Slain in the Spirit|
This seems to be a pretty long lasting thread, and questions such as this one seem to be focal points for widely varying opinions, and often heated debate. I ran across an interesting account of the beginnings of the Methodist movement in America, written by one of the early circuit riders and elders. He was born in the 1770's and died in the 1850's if I recall correctly. His name was James Finley, and his book is entitled, "Pioneer Life in the Old West." In it he chronicles his conversion experience at the Cane Ridge revival in 1801. He said he saw a preacher at that meeting preach to a crowd, and up to 500 people at once "falling" under the influence of the power of God. He also records an incident in which a group of saints were in a circle praying. A man intent on killing some of them attempted to ride through the circle on a horse at full gallop. Before reaching the circle, however, he stiffened in the saddle, and fell to the ground as if shot. He lay there for 31 hours as the people prayed. (My amazement is that they could maintain prayer for 31 hours). At the end of that time he began to convulse as if in an epileptic seizure, and shortly arose praising God. Apparently God had dealt with him and he had surrendered while in, what appeared to outside observers, an unconcious state. I have been in meetings where someone was "slain in the spirit", and there was nothing but a very sweet presence of God there. I have been in meetings where I was uneasy, and did not bear witness in my spirit, and I have been in meetings where God genuinely moved, but many people "fell out" apparently as a form or fashion, although I am not trying to judge motive by saying that. This experience has never happened to me personally, but my wife experienced it once. She said as she was prayed for she found herself on the floor bathed in the presence of God, and did not remember falling at all. Another first hand account I have is from a minister who prayed for two people. One was a deaf Bible college student. He was praying for her ears to be healed. He closed his eyes, placed his hand on her head, and began to pray. He was aware of her head leaving his hand, and opened his eyes to see her fall to the floor, bouncing rather violently. After she got up, she realized that she could hear. She had been born deaf, and was amazed at the world of sounds around her. Another time he prayed for a man who began to fall, apparently of his own decision, realized there were no "catchers", and went through some rather unceremonious acrobatics trying not to hit the ground.
Conclusion of all of the anecdotal incidents? I would have to say it is a real thing that does happen. God's presence is awesome. I see the scriptures noted earlier in the thread, and know that men are reported in scripture to have been brought to the ground involuntarily by the presence of God. Precedence is definitely there. Unfortunately we are human, and as a result sometimes behave out of our flesh thinking we are somehow being spiritual. This happening out of a pure heart of someone who is in relationship with Jesus, is surely forgiven, and most likely disciplined by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We all grow this way. In my opinion, don't get too hung up on the "experience" either one way or the other. Set your heart to seeking the Lord, and let the rest take care of itself. Ground yourself in the Word so you will not be deceived. If you draw near to Him, he will also give you discernment in all of these cases.
| 2009/4/6 23:08||Profile|