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FireinmyBones1
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Joined: 2004/1/17
Posts: 219
Michigan

 Re:

Brothers and Sisters,
I must say that I greatly respect both arguments that are being presented in this post. I respect one side because I see within it a great zeal, and a great desire for truth. In a day when truth is being replaced by "personal revelation" and ones own spin on scripture this is certainly refreshing to see. We need more men like Brother Greg in our day whom "zeal for the house of God hath consumed". We need more men and women who will tie themselves to the mast of God's word and not be moved by the siren songs of worldliness, or of popular Christian opinion. I greatly respect that.
On the other hand I see a group who have no doubt had a genuine life changing experience with God. Yet, perhaps this experience came with "phenomena" or "manifestations" that to the human mind seem unbliblical, useless, and show a lack of self-control. Instead of brothers and sisters in the Lord rejoicing with you, they (as you see it) condemn you and say what you received was not of God. I can relate to this. It is more than understandable to react to such criticism.
I see that both sides are GREATLY hungry for the genuine moving of the Spirit but view it from a slightly different angle. We must not demonize the other side. If we feel that one is in error, instead of using words that tear down, let us lift that individual before God in prayer. Let us first, however, examine our own hearts before God.
As to the topic at hand... I do think we must take caution on both accounts. We must not be, as some are in the habit of doing, always seeking a greater manifestation. Nor should we be always condemning, or trying to find the flaws in, anything that looks abnormal to us.
It has been rightly said in this post that SCRIPTURE, not EXPERIENCE, must be the litmus test for any of these experiences. The scriptures, however, are very clear that the way to test any spiritual movement is not with the eyes, or with the ears. This was one of the characteristics Jesus' demonstrated (Isaiah 11:3) and is a fruit of the Spirit given in the Old Testament. In other words (as it applies to this topic only) we must not simply look at the phenomena (sp?), or listen to the chatter and make our judgements. The scriptural standards for wether something is fresh fire, false fire, or fleshly fire - wether something comes from above, below, or in between - does not necessarily include historical or scriptural precedence. In other words, we do not necessarily have to see that a particular phenomenon occured in scripture in order to know it was God. Certainly if we were to be fair and honest, we would all have to admit that there are things which have taken place in revivals that we all admire, that have had no scriptural precedent. (Was that a run-on :) I can give examples in a follow-up post if anyone wishes. Jesus himself promised that those who believed on Him would do greater things than He. If they were greater than the works of Jesus, meaning things He Himself never did, than where was the scriptural or historical precedence? Now I am certainly not suggesting that physical manifestations are the "greater works" spoken of by Jesus. I'm simply trying to show that there does not necessarily need to be a precedent in order to prove whether or not something is of God. If I am in error, or our of line with scripture, someone please correct me. (That was not said with sarcasm by the way:)
So what then is to be our test? How are we to know? Jesus clealy tells us that we will know the true from the false by the fruits that they bear. That is the test. There are people I have known that have "manifested", fallen to the floor, spoken in tongues, prophesied etc... Yet I never saw what I would have called "fruit" in their lives. On the other hand, I know very well men and women who have never experienced any of these things and yet they have fruit everywhere. (I have seen the reverse be true as well) Yet I will be no mans judge. I have seen people "manifest" in ways that to the natural mind was bothersome, yet the fruits of this experience was genuine repentance and a transformation in life. We must focus on fruit rather than on surface level judgements that our eyes and ears make.
In my first post on this thread I made a reference to Heidi and Rolland Bakkers ministry in Mozambique Africa. My basic comment was that she was touched greatly by God at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship Church. I then went on to say that if one looks at the FRUITS of their ministry they must no doubt come to the conclusion that they are doing the work of God. This comment was met by a very well-meaning, yet (to me) a very dissapointing comment. It was stated that Heidi Baker does not preach with much scriptural depth, and that she has strange manifestations. I will be the first to admit that I have heard her preach and was not sure what to make of this woman. She did indeed have my eyes saw as "strange manifestations". I listened to part of her message and my wife and I left the service before she finished. It was only later as I carefully examined the fruit of their ministry that I saw my error. My original comment was an encouragement to "Check the fruit", not the manifestations. A tree could to our eyes look ugly and unappealing, yet could be loaded with fruit. On the other hand a tree could look beatiful to the eyes and produce nothing. If you look at the Bakkers (just one example) you may see a tree that looks strange to your eyes. Yet the fruit of 4,000 churches planted, over 4,000 trained pastors, each pastor taking at least 1-10 orphans into his/her home, thousands of orphans being cared for, the sick (genuinely) healed, the lost saved, the gospel preached etc.... I could go on. In light of this, I say, Who cares if she shakes laughs or falls, just keep doing the work of God.
Do not get me wrong, I am not a proponent of fleshly Charismania. Nor do I label everything that shakes or barks as being of God. I hunger and thirst for the genuine moving of the Spirit that gives Glory and Honor to Jesus Christ and results in a life lived Godward. Friends let us take care that we do not accept everything that comes down the pipeline. And let us also not reject everything we do not understand.
God Bless,
Jeff
[b]An Experience of God that costs nothing is worth nothing, and does nothing. -Leonard Ravenhill[/b]


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Jeff

 2004/10/15 10:40Profile
FireinmyBones1
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Joined: 2004/1/17
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 Re:

Just a quick follow-up concerning the fruit of self-control...Self-control is speaking of the God-given ability to abstain from the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. It is speaking of the ability to abstain from indulging in selfish sinful behavior. For the Spirit is called the Spirit of Self-Discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) I do not believe this is speaking of bodily manifestations. For we see many times in scripture where men fell prostrate before the Lord as though dead in an apparent trance-like state.(Rev 1:17) This phenomenon has taken place in Revival througout the ages. (in this instance I'm not speaking of being 'slain in the spirit') There are also many accounts from the History of Revival that show manifestations occuring in peoples bodies. Is it any wonder that flesh reacts when an all Holy, Consuming Fire touches them? We do see in scripture, however, that the Lord has granted us the right to resist the Spirit. For the Spirit of the Prophets is subject to the control of the Prophet. The Spirit does come forcefully on men at times, yet the scriptural norm is that when men are open and seeking God is generally when these things occur.
Blessings,
Jeff


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Jeff

 2004/10/15 10:58Profile
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 Re:

Hi todd
I'll try to answer some of your questions. I don't want to take a stance on these things, but I do share my uncertainty with many current practices.

Quote:
by todd on 2004/10/15 5:03:48
I don't know what you mean by "produce the goods." I don't know if any one of these people would make that claim. I think it might be something more like demonstrate the goods. The power of God flowing through a a person. It seems that this is more of the kind of expectation (faith) that we need- for is it not ultimately faith in the power of God?

Faith in God was never 'for' this kind of phenomena, not biblically. I am not afraid of physical manifestations of the Spirit's presence. I just don't see any parallel biblically to current practice. Here in the UK we have had meetings where everyone holds hands and at the click of the fingers of the 'preacher' something akin to an electric shock surges through the meeting. Some jump almost 3 feet into the air. The experience is referred to as being 'zapped'. The only result appears to be the greater reputation of the person who can produce the zapping. Folks are encouraged not to let their minds get in the way, but just believe and receive. Believe and receive what? A zapping?


Quote:
by todd on 2004/10/15 5:03:48
Acts 19:11 "And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul"

If we take the quotation to the next verse we can see the purpose of such 'extraordinary miracles'; God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. (Act 19:11-12 NASB) I have no anxieties about these kinds of demonstrations of God's power; it is 'zapping' I am uncomfortable with.


Quote:
"I am reluctant to say where I think the power is coming from, but I am profoundly disturbed that it can be accessed with such ease.
Kathryn Kuhlman was reported, by her official biographer, to have used 'slaying in the spirit' as a tool to control others on the platform who became too prominent.
To me, this control of others and other powers sounds more like magic than genuine faith."

Who said it could be easily accessed? We don't know what individuals have gone through to find that place with God where He can trust them with higher realms of authority and power.

Remember what Elisha did when he was mocked by those youth? How Paul dealt with Elymas? It seems there are places in God that we no little, if anything, of. I think it's a very wise move, and in yours and everybody else's best self-interest, not to judge these things outright but to tread very carefully here.
We don't know exactly how God's government functions in these times, but it seems He has always delgated authority to key individuals whom He has chosen. This specific case of Kathryn Khulman might just be one modern example of this.

I didn't say easily acquired, I said easily accessed. Some leaders of meetings can do a count-down to the 'zapping'. Elisha and Paul exercised judgmental miracles against their enemies. According to Jamie Buckingham's 'Daughter of Destiny' Kathryn Kuhlman did it to her colleagues when she thought they were becoming too prominent on the platform. There is something about that which makes me very uncomfortable.

Quote:
:"It bothers me too, but then it bothers me when someone changes for the better without choosing it. Is imposed holiness really holiness?

I have heard lots of testimonies to this. 'Look at the fruit', they cry. but it bothers me if there was no preceding repentance. It bothers me when apparent grace is bolted on to unconfessed unrighteousness."

Why does this bother you? I don't think you would put it this way outright (maybe because it's not right), but are you basically saying you want people to have to earn it more?

The point I was making is that classical revival experience of prostrations was always accompanied by a deep sense of sin and an awe of God. It began with a consciousness of sin which is authentic biblically, when He is come, He will convict the world of sin... No I don't want anyone to earn anything, but I do want them to know what is happening to them. The 'foolishness' of preaching is the content not the method. The gospel is to be presented intelligibly so that choices can be made. How can this be if people are unconscious?

Quote:
Even so, let's not forget the humility and desperation for God it takes for most people to enter into this kind of experience (to choose to let go and let God control). Have you considered that?

I'm not sure that many who adopt these practices are notorious for their humility. I have no problems about 'letting go and let God control'. I still have problems about 'letting go and letting men manipulate'.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/10/15 14:25Profile
todd
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Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
California

 Re:

Quote:
"Faith in God was never 'for' this kind of phenomena, not biblically."

Ok. I think I was unclear here and the confusion is my fault. I think I was speaking more of the "goods" of the likes that Kathryn Khulman produced (healing, deliverance, salvation, etc.), not necessarily the "phenomena" we have also been discussing (although I think that counts too). I didn't realize it's only the 'zapping' thing that you are uncomfortable with. Sorry about that. However, it seems that faith [i]is[/i] the general requirement for receiving anything from God.

Quote:
"I just don't see any parallel biblically to current practice."

I can see why this might make you cautious about it. But this doesn't at all mean that we should reject it, correct?

Quote:
"Believe and receive what? A zapping?"

Since we are dealing with nonspecifics here, as far as what has actually been said by these unnamed leaders, I can't really say for sure. But my guess is that these people you speak of encourage others in attendence to engage the Spirit with their spirit and receive whatever He is giving. If you feel a sensation you might describe as a 'zap', ok then.

For some reason the touch of God is often reported as feeling like electricity. This likely explains the 'zap' terminology.

Quote:
"I have no anxieties about these kinds of demonstrations of God's power; it is 'zapping' I am uncomfortable with."

Again, sorry. I think I meant to use this verse more as a warm-up to what I was about to write concerning Kathryn Khulman, or just a verse that seemed relevant somehow. Maybe just to establish some more about the human mediation thing in general. Certainly not as a key verse in the 'phenomena' discussion.

Quote:
"I didn't say easily acquired, I said easily accessed."

Ok. I guess my point is once a certain place of authority and power has been 'aquired', there may be an ease of access that goes along with it. So seeing the aquiring as a prerequisite to easy access, it can still be maintained that easy [i]access[/i] is not easily [i]aquired[/i]. You like that better?

Quote:
"I didn't say easily acquired, I said easily accessed. Some leaders of meetings can do a count-down to the 'zapping'."

Now it seems you have made the same kind mistake I did. In this case you seem to have equated the kind of authority that Khulman evidenced on the platform with leaders who minister with the 'zapping' phenomena. Clearly these are two very different realms of authority.

The Khulman example seems to be a revelation of far greater authority, as she was given the ability to, let's just say, 'get out of the way', those who she sensed needed to be out of the way. That is, they were 'taken down' perhaps somewhat involuntarily. But we can't know too much about all that for sure. Besides, this is assuming that we are looking at this whole thing in the right way. I still haven't read the material.

On the other hand, the 'zap' leaders seem to operate in a fashion in which the recipients of the 'touch' are desiring it, that is, voluntarily (although it seems there are plenty of cases where critics and/or sceptics have gotten 'zapped').

In response to where the power for 'zapping' was coming from, you brought up the Khulman example, which seems to be a very different level of authority and power. I, in turn, didn't make that inconsistancy clear in my response back to you. But now I hope we are clearer on this issue.

Quote:
"Elisha and Paul exercised judgmental miracles against their enemies."

My point with these Scriptures was simply to introduce the fact that there are places in God where few have gone and that most of us know little about. Who knows how deep the realms of friendship and intimacy with God can go, and how much He can trust people with? Perhaps God saw fit to give this kind of authority to Khulman on the platform. Or perhaps she was abusing it. We can't say for sure, can we? But the fruit of her ministry seems to speak for itself.

Quote:
"The point I was making is that classical revival experience of prostrations was always accompanied by a deep sense of sin and an awe of God."

Ok, I guess if this bothers you it bothers you. I just don't see why it has to. Sure, there are verses about conviction, but there are verses about the Comforter too. And the desires of God to be intimate with His people. Also, I never noticed this before, but that verse you referenced speaks of Him convicting 'the world' of sin. But aren't we talking about the Church?

Quote:
"The gospel is to be presented intelligibly so that choices can be made."

Are we talking about presenting the gospel, or the manifestations of the Spirit?

 2004/10/15 20:09Profile
todd
Member



Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
California

 Re:

Quote:
"Hi todd
I'll try to answer some of your questions. I don't want to take a stance on these things, but I do share my uncertainty with many current practices."

Ron,
I was so caught up in the main content of your post, I think I didn't really register this introduction. I just want to make it clear that I very much respect your decision not to make a firm stance, and that it's totally fair to share your concerns. I also greatly appreciate your willingness to dialogue in a fair manner about this controversial topic.

 2004/10/15 20:39Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
It has been rightly said in this post that SCRIPTURE, not EXPERIENCE, must be the litmus test for any of these experiences.


Brother to follow the characters of the bible primarly Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul as the rule for proper spiritual manifestations and spiritual life. Yes I believe everything in spiritual life needs to be found in Scripture if its not then I am willing to allow it pass. Spiritual Holiness has a result in a persons actions, it starts out in the heart and out of the heart comes out all the actions, words, etc.

Quote:
Do not get me wrong, I am not a proponent of fleshly Charismania. Nor do I label everything that shakes or barks as being of God. I hunger and thirst for the genuine moving of the Spirit that gives Glory and Honor to Jesus Christ and results in a life lived Godward. Friends let us take care that we do not accept everything that comes down the pipeline. And let us also not reject everything we do not understand.


Yes absolutely I believe God is using many things for his purposes. Like Jesus told the disciples about the others who were using his name to cast out devils, that if they are not against us they are for us. In other words God will use many things for his glory! but that does not make us to be complacent with the permissilbe but to seek that which is beneficial. We need not to seek after that which is good or ok but that which is perfect which is pure and from above. Brother Jeff your heart and comments are awesome and I thank you for sharing so openly how you feel about these things. By Gods grace we can continue to strive and seek that which is perfect and pleasing in Gods sight.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/10/16 12:00Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
The point I was making is that classical revival experience of prostrations was always accompanied by a deep sense of sin and an awe of God. It began with a consciousness of sin which is authentic biblically, when He is come, He will convict the world of sin...


Amen brother Ron, I have tryed to repeat that truth many times in these forums, its something that has been lost and the concept of it doesn't make sense to the modern day Chrisitan. Falling prostrate is clearly thought of as a blessing from God now and creates an euphoric feeling of Gods presence on the body and mind, heart! which can and does happen when God pours out His joy and love on His people, but in revivals conviction of sin is the primary working of the Holy Spirit.

Quote:
Since we are dealing with nonspecifics here, as far as what has actually been said by these unnamed leaders, I can't really say for sure. But my guess is that these people you speak of encourage others in attendence to engage the Spirit with their spirit and receive whatever He is giving. If you feel a sensation you might describe as a 'zap', ok then.


I think the problem that Ron is raising is very sensible. Why should we see after a feeling or blessing that doesn't have grounding in anything except what it is and results when you recieve it. I want to know God more and to know His love that surpasses understanding from seeking after that God will bless us. Not for our own selfish ambitions to seek after an experience.


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 2004/10/16 12:21Profile





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