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 Dangers Of Signs and Wonders In The Last Days

Saints,

I have re-posted this from another thread and added to it as its own topic. I feel some of the writing, research and thoughts here are important and may God guide us all and help us from deception in these last days.

--

I believe God does the miraculous and especially to confirm the preaching at Gospel where God deems fit to do it. It is a sovereign thing and not something we can manufacture. That is the problem when you get a crowd together with the anticipation to be healed and they being Christians. And it is similar to John 6 where people were following Jesus just for the bread. God is just as able to heal Christians in their bedroom as they are in an environment of emotion, loud music, and a preacher yelling and working up the crowd. Both can be valid but it seems more genuine and biblical that simple faith heals people. Or a simple laying on the hands of Elders.

My other concern after watching some of the videos of modern signs and wonders on youtube in which are very emotional, well down and stir you with the fast moving pictures, sounds and preaching. But the concern is slain in the Spirit phenomenon. Something that is not seen in the early church, acts of the apostles nor in church history till of late.

Zac Poonen on Slaying in the Spirit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWGuFALq-U8


here are some of the marks of counterfeit revivals in our day by Zac Poonen:

1. Most Christians today are not aware of what the New Testament teaches, because they have not studied it carefully; and so they follow the teachings of their leaders and not the teachings of the New Testament.

2. Miracles (supernatural gifts) have become more important to them than their character (a supernatural life).

3. Material wealth has become more important to them than spiritual wealth.

4. They are unable to distinguish between soulish frenzy or psychological manipulation, and the genuine moving of the Holy Spirit; the cause again is ignorance of the New Testament.

5. They are unable to distinguish between psychosomatic healing (healing that comes by right attitudes of the mind), and supernatural healing in Jesus' Name.

6. Emotional excitement and strange physical manifestations have become more important to them than the inward joy of the Lord.


---

My major concern though also is in the end times there will be great deception surrounding signs and wonders that are not false but real and will deceive people to believe a "wrong message".

Matthew 24:4 "“Watch out that no one deceives you."

Matthew 24:24 "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible."

2 Thessalonians 2:9 " The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders"

---


I compiled an article from historical revival accounts showing that when people fell unconscious it was not anything like modern accounts but was always under great conviction of sin.



Revival Experiences: Slain In The Spirit by Greg Gordon

Various accounts of spiritual phenomena during revival

EXTREME CONVICTION

Times of revival bring forth many exuberant and prevailing experiences on the soul and body of men. During these times the phenomena that are involved can be easily seen as something that is extreme and not proper. By looking at the history of revivals we see clearly that phenomena such as “falling under” and being “smitten down” was simply a response to the extreme conviction upon the souls of men. True revival preaching brought forth much strong exhortations and pleadings upon the sinfulness of men and the holiness of God. For any sinner or carnal Christian that heard this preaching would have these type of manifestations because of the deep work of God in conviction and guilt upon the conscience. In modern day Churches preaching that produces conviction, or shows the lost sinner the condemned state he is in, is considered by most legalistic! To bring forth the “terrors of the law” is a thing from the past and is not considered relevant anymore. It is hoped simply through reading these various accounts from past revivals that the reader will realize the true reason for the “experience” of falling under in the Spirit of God. This type of discernment and study is required in our day of perverted and dubious workings of false Spirits and doctrines of devils. The counterfeit has been alongside the truth since the beginning, I give this example from the 1623 Ulster revival:

“There were now many converts in all the congregations which have been mentioned, and Satan observing the prosperity of the gospel amongst them set himself to perplex them by discrediting the work of God in their hearts. This he did by a counterfeit of the operation of the Holy Spirit on several persons at Lochlarne, whom he caused to cry out during public worship, and some of them were affected with convulsive pangs. The number of persons thus affected increased daily, and at first the ministers and people pitied them, hoping that the Holy Spirit was at work with them. but when they had conversed with them, and found that they did not discover any sense of their sinful state or any longing after a Saviour, the minister of the place wrote to his brethren, inviting them to come and examine the matter, who when they had spoken with them saw that it was a mere delusion of the destroyer. The next Sabbath, an ignorant person in Mr. Blair’s congregation made a noise, but immediately, says Mr. B., ‘I was assisted to rebuke that lying spirit which disturbed the worship of God, and I charged the same in the name and authority of Jesus Christ, not to molest that congregation; and through God’s mercy we met with no more of that sort.”


THE FALLING

During the revival in Cambuslang in 1742 under the ministry of Reverend M’Culloch there were many phenomena that surrounded the revival meetings especially the occurrence of “falling under,” as it was termed in those days. “As to what these young men termed ‘the falling,’ it was a way of speaking among scoffers at the time, occasioned by the bodily distress which, in many instances, accompanied conviction. the work was much objected to in consequence; but when the intimate connection of soul and body is considered, it will not appear surprising that great outward agitation should mark the emotions of a soul fully awakened to the dread realities of judgement and eternity.”

Paris Reidhead in his sermon “ten shekels and a Shirt” gives two accounts of this phenomena during times of revival: Wesley was a preacher of righteousness that exalted the holiness of God. When he would exalt the holiness of God, and the law of God, and the righteousness of God, and the justice of God, and the wisdom of His requirements! And the justice of his wrath and his anger! Then he would turn to sinners and tell them of the enormity of their crimes and their open rebellion and their treason, and their anarchy. And the power of God would so descend upon the company, that on one occasion it is reliably reported that when the people dispersed there were 1800 people lying on the ground, utterly unconscious! Because they had a revelation of the holiness of God and in the light of that they’d seen the enormity of their sins and God had so penetrated their minds and hearts that they had fallen to the ground! It wasn’t only in Wesley’s day; it was also in America, New Haven, Connecticut, Yale. A man by t he name of John Wesley Redfield had continuous ministry for three years in and around New Haven. Culminating in the great meetings in Yale Ball, the first of the Yale Balls’ back in the 18th century. The policeman were accustomed during those days, if they saw someone lying on the ground, to go up and smell his breath. Because if he had alcohol on his breath they’d lock him up; but if he didn’t, he had Redfield’s disease. And all you needed to do if anyone had Redfield’s disease was just take him into a quiet place and leave him until he came to. Because if they were drunkards, they’d stop drinking, and if they were cruel, they’d stop being cruel, and if they were immoral, they gave up their immorality. If they were thieves, they returned what they had. For as they had seen the holiness of God, and seen the enormity of their sin; the Spirit of God had driven them down into unconsciousness because of the weight of their guilt! And somehow in the overspreading of the power of God, sinners repented of their sin and came savingly to Christ.


SMITTEN DOWN

In the Irish Revival 1859 this account of falling under the Spirit was given: "When the conviction as to its mental process reaches its crisis, the person, through weakness, is unable to sit or stand, and either kneels or lies down. A great number of convicted persons in this town and neighborhood, and now I believe in all directions in the north where the Revival prevails, are "smitten down" as suddenly and they fall as nerveless and paralyzed and powerless, as if killed instantly by a shotgun. They fall with a deep groan, some with a wild cry of horror--the greater number with the intensely earnest plea, 'Lord Jesus, have mercy on my soul !' The whole frame trembles like an aspen leaf, an intolerable weight is felt upon the chest, a choking sensation is experienced and relief from this found only in the loud, urgent prayer for deliverance, usually the bodily distress and mental anguish continue till some degree of confidence in Christ is found. Then the look, the tone, the gestures, instantly change. The aspect of anguish and despair is changed for that of gratitude, and triumph, and adoration. The language and the looks, and terrible struggles, and loud desperate depreciation, tell convincingly, as the parties themselves declare, that they are in deadly conflict with the old serpent. The perspiration rolls off the anguished victims; their very hair is moistened. Some pass through this exhausting conflict several times; others but once. There is no appetite for food; many will eat nothing for a number of days. They do not sleep, though they may lie down with their eyes shut."


FALLING UNDER

The Cane Ridge revival of 1801 had many cases of “falling under” in the meetings during that time. The majority of people that experienced these manifestations were the mockers, sinners and those convicted greatly under the power of God showing their sinfulness before a Holy God: “At its height, about twenty thousand were said to have been in attendance. Religious services of praying, singing, exhorting, and preaching were kept up day and night. Physical expressions of the excitement were numerous and sometimes took bizarre forms. The groans and screams of those under conviction mingled with the shouts of those who had found release and joy. The fear of hell and damnation and the hopelessness of the lost would be succeeded by the bliss of assured salvation. The most common physical experience was "falling." About three thousand are said to have been prostrate at the Cane Ridge meeting. Some of the "fallen" were insensible. Others were aware of what was happening about them but were powerless to move. Women and children were especially suggestible and were the most affected. Yet men were also among "the slain." ... A little later in the course of the revival, hundreds displayed convulsive physical contortions which were known as "the jerks." Frequently those who came to remonstrate or ridicule were themselves sudden victims. Barking, running, jumping, and trances were common.”

The phenomenon of falling under the power of the Spirit occurred in the revivals of Jonathan Edwards. His assessment was that a person may “fail bodily strength” due to fear of hell and the conviction by the Holy Spirit or due to a “foretaste of heaven.” R.A. Torrey testified of people falling under the power of God due to conviction of sin. Praying Hyde relates of the Punjab Prayer Convention of 1906, “We began to pray, and suddenly the great burden of that soul was cast upon us, and the room was filled with sobs and cries for one whom most of us had never seen or heard of before. Strong men lay on the ground groaning in agony for that soul.” Jonathan Edwards in his book “Religious Affections” gives us some words of wisdom relating to this phenomena: “A work is not to be judged of by any effects on the bodies of men; such as tears, trembling, groans, loud outcries, agonies of body, or the failing of bodily strength. The influence persons are under is not to be judged of one way or other by such effects on the body; and the reason is because the Scripture nowhere gives us any such rule.” May God gift His Church with supernatural discernment in these last days hence our Savior's words: “Take heed that no man deceive you!” Oh how we need to see changed life’s in response to preaching that brings conviction and contrition. Only God can change a life and make it holy, that is the true litmus test of revival!



_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/5/17 12:22Profile









 Re: Dangers Of Signs and Wonders In The Last Days

Greg an honest and hearfekt question to you and others in this forum. Do you believe God is manifesting himself in dreams and visions among the mislems? You support Gospel for Asia? I do too. I read consistantky about the healings that take place in their newketters.? Do you and others in this forum believe them to be true?

Let me further ask do you believe that the gospel is moving in a powerful way in Iran? Do you and others in this forum believe that the the number if believers have jumped from 500 in 1978 to 100,000 conservative estimate today.

I have posted this but some may question what I am posting. Alright, please refute me. I will recieve your correction. If what I am posting are lies then speak the truth in love.

For the record I believe in signs and wonders and miracles. I believe that God is moving in incredible ways in the third world. But for those who don't think such then please be honest. State your case from the wotd of God. You can do it on my thread Autheticating the Gospel. If you really feel that signs and wonders are not for today then show me from the word of God. I will listen.

I do believe in signs and wonders. But for those who don't. State your case from God's word. A threadcis opened up for that.

Bearmaster.

 2012/5/17 13:19
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1999
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Dangers Of Signs and Wonders In The Last Days

I don't think, or at least I hope not, that anyone here would deny miracles, signs, and what we might call wonders from the hand of God. We might disagree on the order of these manifestations. Some say it is only in cases where God divinely ordains it to happen. Others would say that it is a result of a spirit filled believer putting faith in the word of God. Surely we would all agree that these things do happen.

I too am concerned with what I see as a growing "signs and wonders movement". Let me say that I believe that God still does move in miracles. I believe the gifts of the Spirit are 100% for today, and that God will use Holy Spirit baptized believers in these gifts as He wills. I also believe that miracles happen in response to believers taking the word of God for what it says and responding accordingly. I have seen many miracles, signs, and wonders in my life.

The problem comes when these things become the focus and the solid foundation of the word of God is ignored. I have seen many immature believers become enamored by manifestations to the point that there spiritual life becomes about seeking these manifestations. There is a major movement in the body right now whose primary focus is on prophecy, gifts, signs, wonders, and manifestations.

Prophecy, gifts, signs, wonders, and manifestations were never meant to be the goal. They are a bi-product. Important? YES! The goal? NO! The word of God is clear that "these signs shall follow them that believe..." The signs follow. They do not lead.

We are entering a time when we need to have great discernment. This discernment comes from a balance of the word having solid root in our lives, and the Holy Spirit being actively involved. We must hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, and we must know the word intimately. We cannot ignore either of these two ingredients.

I recall attending a meeting in which the manifestation of "gold teeth" was displayed. It began with what seemed to be solid teaching from the word, but devolved in the end into a time of everyone shining flashlights in one anothers' mouths. It was interesting to say the least. But as time went on I wondered what the purpose of this manifestation was and I wondered what lasting fruit was borne in the lives of the people that were there. Over time the visiting minister that brought these manifestations turned to adultery. The people who were there did not have any lasting fruit that I could tell. What I saw were people who flocked to a meeting because this man apparently carried with him these manifestations. It almost seemed as if people were there for the show, hoping they would get a gold filling.

I tell that story to say this. In the last days (NOW) we are told that there will be many lying signs and wonders. There will also be the true miracles of God. We must discern the difference. To do that we must engage ourselves in relationship with God through His word, through prayer, and through communion with the Holy Spirit. We must grow up and become mature.


_________________
Travis

 2012/5/17 13:46Profile
Miccah
Member



Joined: 2007/9/13
Posts: 1752
Wisconsin

 Re:

bearmaster. God is the same yesterday and today. He moves as He sees fit. The blind see, the lame walk, the dead are raised...

I have never seen any of this on a great scale, but my Lord is not one to lie. I do not need to be Thomas in order for me to believe His word.

Signs and wonders? I see the Lord.


_________________
Christiaan

 2012/5/17 13:50Profile
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3465
Louisiana

 Re:

"Prophecy, gifts, signs, wonders, and manifestations were never meant to be the goal. They are a bi-product. Important? YES! The goal? NO! The word of God is clear that "these signs shall follow them that believe..." The signs follow. They do not lead."

Good post brother! Thanks!

Mike


_________________
Mike

 2012/5/17 14:39Profile
UntoBabes
Member



Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1031
Oregon

 Re:

Brother bear,

I think you are a bit too loud. You remind me of a friend.

I think brother Greg is saying simply that:
signs and wonders can be from God or the Devil while conviction of sin that results in holy living can be only from God.
Consequently if conviction of sin that results in true salvation is accompanied by signs and wonders, then GREAT.If it does not, then great also.

In many of the sermons I have listened to here on SI about revival there were some healing and visions and dreams.
I believe brother Greg is Ok with that because it was accompanied by true salvation.

Same case with the Moslims.

God bless







_________________
Fifi

 2012/5/17 14:59Profile









 Re: Acts 4:29-30

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.

Ok. Let me get this straight. The early church in Acts is praying for a bold proclamation of God's wotd. On top of that they are asking for signs and wonders. They are asking this in the name of Jesus.

Yet what I am hearing here is that any manifestation of signs and wonders are to be discouraged and concievably be counterfeit.

So why did the early church pray for God to stretch out his hand and do heal fo miraculous things in the name of Jesus?

Bearmaster.

 2012/5/17 15:36
DEADn
Member



Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1357
Lakeland FL

 Re:

On the heels of this thread I want to submit something to the forum that perplexes me and maybe it shouldn't? While on break at work today I was watching CNN. We have this on 24/7 in the breakroom. They showed footage of part of a mountain that collapsed and begam to fall like an avalanche toward a town in Sweden or Switzerland or a country in that area. My very first thought is how does a Christian recognize when such a thing is a natural thing vs. a supernatural thing? The event seems abnormal which could make it supernatural but then how do we test whether it is supernatural or not and the possible reason why this happened?

My 2nd thought is that if science looks into this matter as to why it happened and comes up with answers how then would we know whether another event that would be similiar would be supernatural if science is able to answer why it happened? Usually the supernatural happens and nothing can explain why it happened.

What do you think?


_________________
John

 2012/5/17 17:18Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re:

Hi bearmaster,

I think that you are reading between the lines here. No one is saying the things that you "hearing here."

The problem isn't the LEGITIMATE works of God that can be identified as "signs and wonders." The problem is with the overemphasis -- or chasing after -- of things that are claimed to be "signs and wonders."

Consider again this from the initial post:

Quote:

here are some of the marks of counterfeit revivals in our day by Zac Poonen:

1. Most Christians today are not aware of what the New Testament teaches, because they have not studied it carefully; and so they follow the teachings of their leaders and not the teachings of the New Testament.

2. Miracles (supernatural gifts) have become more important to them than their character (a supernatural life).

3. Material wealth has become more important to them than spiritual wealth.

4. They are unable to distinguish between soulish frenzy or psychological manipulation, and the genuine moving of the Holy Spirit; the cause again is ignorance of the New Testament.

5. They are unable to distinguish between psychosomatic healing (healing that comes by right attitudes of the mind), and supernatural healing in Jesus' Name.

6. Emotional excitement and strange physical manifestations have become more important to them than the inward joy of the Lord.



I think that all true believers would give praise to the Lord for genuine answers to prayer, miracles or wonders that He creates. However, the emphasis should ALWAYS be on the Lord for such things...and not man, a doctrinal push, or the many counterfeit "miracles" that are proclaimed in this day and age.

Sadly, there are many would-be prophets, "miracle" workers, "healing" evangelists who get upset when someone questions the validity of their "words" or claims.

Manifestations aren't immune from scrutiny. Nor should anyone expect a "free pass" from careful consideration if they give "words" or claim to have performed "miracles" in the Name of Jesus. The Book of Acts and even Paul the Apostle mention this type of Biblical examination of claims, words or even apparent miraculous events. After all, there are "false signs" and "lying wonders" too (II Thessalonians 2:9) and Paul even warns individuals from simply accepting the words of men and even angels if they contradict the Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).

The danger is that men and women will run to mere men, false signs or simple claims instead of being drawn to the Lord. I believe that this is the essence of the article. While I have personally seen some things that are wonderfully amazing, I have also seen many phony claims as well. I have seen claims of healings, miracles, tales of visits to Heaven and Hell, prophecies and other "words" along with other "signs and wonders" that just don't meet the Biblical standards of truth. Thus, we should always be prayerfully careful about those things that we hear and see.

And, of course, I believe that true ministers of the Gospel would not be offended when other believers test such things by the Word of God (I Thessalonians 5:21).


_________________
Christopher

 2012/5/17 17:47Profile









 Re:

Bearmaster, Greg puts this up front

Quote "I believe God does the miraculous and especially to confirm the preaching at Gospel where God deems fit to do it. It is a sovereign thing and not something we can manufacture."

DEADN

How unsearchable are the judgments of the Lord and His ways past finding out.
Romans 11:33

Some things we can clearly declare God has doen this. and many would agree.

Other things I have to refer to the previous scripture.

 2012/5/17 17:49





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