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AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3462
Louisiana

 Re:

Brothers and sisters,

We need to take all of the admonitons of Jesus seriously concerning false teachers and prophets that would rise up in the end times and deceive many.

We also must not limit God and try to put Him in a box, because the result can be that we are quenching the Spirit, and there are some that limit God because of pre conceived notions of what He should and what He should not be doing. God is not going to be in control in churches and meetings where leaders have a form of godliness but deny the power of God.

I have been in meetings where the power of God was being manifested, and the presence and power of God had different effects on the people present. It is very easy to get caught up in the manifestations of the Spirit of God, but the Holy Spirit will always exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. In a true move of the Holy Spirit, Jesus will be glorified.

It is not whether people remain standing or fall to the floor under the power of God that should concern the saints, but how are these meetings effecting the lives of those are encountering supernatural manifestations.

I have seen those that have sought after power without holiness, gifts without the fruit, and the result has been devastating. But I have also seen many that have been in a move of God where the awesome presence of God was being manifested that have had their lives and ministries transformed.

A true move of the Holy Spirit will create a spiritual hunger in those that are seeking for God's will to be done in their lives. It will draw them closer to Jesus, and He will be the One that they seek and long to know in a greater way. All of the manifestations will be secondary to the glory and splendor of the Son of God that the Holy Spirit is wanting to reveal to the children of God.

For me personally, every true encounter with the Spirit of God, with the manifest presence of God, has left me with a deeper knowledge of who He is, and we will never totally comprehend His greatness and glory while we are here in these mortal bodies, but praise God we can taste and see that the Lord is good, and we can worship Him in Spirit and in truth, and experience His presence every day of our lives .

Mike


_________________
Mike

 2012/5/18 8:12Profile









 Re:

Look,
Yes, we can cry out for God to perform miraculous signs and wonders of healings to confirm His Word, Gospel, & Power. In the days to come, after God allows America to undergo tremendous change, I believe God will use these things to confirm His ministry through His ministers to bring in a harvest. God still does miracles AS HE WILKS for HIS PURPOSES.
However, Gold Teeth, Gold Dust, Throwing an uncontrollable laughing "spirit" on people, most of what is referred to today as "slain in the spirit", etc. are lying signs and wonders not from God, but from the evil one.
I think this may be a communication/clarity issue here in this discussion. Do we all agree: 1.) God still does miracles? 2.) Gold Dust, Gold teeth, etc. is a lying sign and wonder? If you say "you can't put God in a box", & gold dust Type stuff is from God, you may need to pray for God to grant you discernment to "distinguish between spirits"

 2012/5/18 10:00









 Re: Jeffnar

Brother I like your questions. I would modify the first question to ask does God still do miracles to confirm the gospel? My answerr, yes he does. Second question regarding gold dust, gold fillings, laughing fits, etc.? My answer, not of God.

Bearnaster.

 2012/5/18 10:49









 Re: The danger of seeking after signs and wonders!

The only miracle I have witnessed has been the miracle of conversion. Yet a man once said to me after several hours of sharing Christ with him “you make it sound wonderful, but I cannot believe”. At the time I wondered whether I had sought to persuade him so well, that I had in fact robbed him of the power to believe, by robbing God of his sovereign authority to save him. Today I am more inclined to see that God’s sovereign authority cannot be robbed and had it been His will for this man to be saved in that hour he would have been saved. In the same instance of saying this I know that Paul the Apostle was very keen to ensure God’s effect and will to save men, was made certain, by coming to them weak and fearful of his own ability to persuade men of Christ, preferring instead to see men saved in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today there seems to be little concern in this regard and people are been brought into a covenant with God by any means possible; often very persuasively. I would not dare to condemn this outright because there are many who confess Christ as Lord, who have been brought into the new covenant by these means. If we want to assign an explanation as to how it is possible we have to look no further than God’s mercy and desire that all men are saved. Having witnessed many false manifestations, which have been attributed to the power of God, I know for certain that it is one thing to preach persuasively and another to teach those who believe in Christ that signs and wonders should be actively sought. It seems to me at least that such a seeking is profoundly dangerous and rarely produces any lasting effect of righteous and pleasing conduct before man and God.

Scripturally signs and wonders should follow on, today we have overthrown this directive and we seek for signs and wonders to draw men to God. When I have witnessed brethren being cast down to the floor my first thought is always “Lord what have they done”. I ask the Lord “why do you need to lay waste to those who already believe?” It is easy to understand why this has happened in times of a great harvest of souls for God’s glory, but why it should be necessary for those who believe is a real mystery to me and I have wrestled with this question for more than 25 years. Perhaps one day I too will be cast down to the floor and I will know the answer. I pray that it will not become necessary and that I am always willing to repent first, casting myself down and crying out to God for mercy.

Responsibility today lays directly at the feet of Elders, who alone have governmental authority in the churches, as well as ministers of the word who alone are given as gifts of men to cause a growth which is Christ fully manifest in men’s lives to the glory of the Father in heaven.. It is wisdom to recognise that all deception is a twisting of the truth. Paul’s “power of the Holy Spirit” is preceded by Paul’s willingness to be weak. The lie is other than. It is strong men laying hold of weak men in the power of their own minds for a name. Not Christ, but a man’s name. If this seems implausible I pray that the Lord Himself will bear witness to it. This is not condemnation but discernment without which we cannot be kept from foolishness and vanity.

When I first believed I had visions and revelations which could easily have led me astray into vanity and the power of the soul. I was warned in the spirit not to take my stand or put my confidence in these things. At the time they really did make me confident and I really did believe for many miraculous and wonderful things. Yet I was warned not to take that confidence beyond the hour in which it was given. By faith we can recall such things and by faith believe for God to do His last labours, but to have confidence in oneself is foolishness and worse it is a denial of God’s power and sovereign work in our own life and the lives of those He is saving for His own glory.

The Scriptures warn us of deception explicitly and unless we take this seriously we may find ourselves being drawn into an end time deception which God will permit in order to “fill up the days of men” and herald in His kingdom and the Kingdom of The Lamb. As difficult as this is to fully comprehend it will happen. Do we trust our God? Or do we feel a need to trust what men say. What was always impossible in the past, in our day is becoming true. A man standing in the Holy Place speaking blasphemies, changing times and seasons and causing men to worship a man as though he were truly god. If we were to see into that terrible coming reality we would flee to the Father; that by any means at all we would escape those days and blasphemies. Yes let God work wonders and signs in the heavens and in our lives, but let them be according to God’s timing and His own Glory; forbid them to be according to our own determination which only brings glory to men and may lead to even the elect being deceived, if it is possible. Which is to say, if God will permit it you understand.

Andrew

 2012/5/26 11:59









 Re:

From reading many posts from time immemorial it's sad to say that the majority of people don't believe in miracles. No one is saying they don't happen, but they just don't happen through the gifts of the Spirit, they happen on their own as God does it without the use of vessels. That does happen most certainly.

When it comes to the five fold ministry we have no trouble fitting men into these offices, but when it comes to the gifts of the Spirit, we shy away from them as if scared that we are going to be deceived by them or glory in them. There is a real fear of taking the glory, most would rather just God do it and not through men and women.

When God does install gifts into men we criticize them in a mad sort of way. We are constantly looking over every word they are saying so we can say, "Aha, I knew he was a false prophet". There is somewhat of a relief knowing that, so we can continue believing that the gifts are not done through men.

To be sure, I find this thread discouraging.

Be Blessed today.

 2012/5/26 14:53









 Re: To be sure, I find this thread discouraging

Quote:
To be sure, I find this thread discouraging



You shouldn't be discouraged Approved. Every word of caution doesn't come out of a hidden resistance to the gifts of the Spirit. Neither is deception in what ever form it takes the same as being a "false prophet." Certainly there is a gift of prophecy but when a young believer seeking to exercise that gift, mingles flesh and spirit, they are not become false prophets neither should they be so accused. They are simply a well bringing forth brackish and pure water. A thing which ought not to happen. However if someone says they are a prophet and declares "as the Lord lives" or "thus says the Lord" and they speak falsely then the fruit of their speech will show them to be false prophets. It may take a measure of time for their falsehood to become evident, or it may simply cause weaker brethren to stumble, or it may even lead many astray; but in the end they are known by their fruit. Their effect is to delude and harm, rather than to build up and labour to a good effect. The only effect which is measured by God for the ministry of the Word, whether apostle's, prophet's, evangelist's or pastor's and teacher's is the building up of the saints until Christ is formed within to a visible outcome. Conduct, speech and faithfulness. Even the fruits of the Spirit.

Jesus condemned a seeking after signs and wonders as adulterous. This is the key to this concern. Why are so many saints increasingly seeking after signs and wonders. As difficult to believe and accept as it is; knowing that we must not judge others without first judging ourselves; many hearts are turned away from the Lord, making an idol of a gift and its effect, rather than worshipping God in Spirit and Truth. It is worth considering that the very signs and wonders which were being sought in the Lord's day, were those which attested to the Lord Jesus as Christ. Yet He condemned such seeking as wicked and perverse. Today there are millions upon millions of believers who have formed such an attitude. They have been led into it and are caught in its snare having their imaginations tickled by a belief that in seeing such things they are somehow more faithful or spiritually minded.

Every gift of the Spirit can be misused and have this effect upon those who accept what they see or hear without knowing it. Speaking personally I truly long for a good exercise of all the gifts and all faith, but I would rather close my eyes and cover my ears than be led away by a gift of God, being used to snare the saints in a delusion which is contributing to end time deceptions and a man of sin. If we did not know that falsehood is at the heart of the end of this age it would be a simple matter of patiently instructing and waiting and waiting and waiting..... until the saints themselves recognise the need to exercise self control, trusting on God to move them and teach them how to walk and stand in this day of increasing deception. I am truly sorry that you are discouraged. It is understandable. Yet warning and encouraging saints to show self restraint in their exercise of the gifts of the Spirit is necessary because the gifts are not only misused, but their are increasing counterfeit gifts arising out of the minds of men who lay importance on individuality of expression rather than knowledge of the unity of faith.

Andrew

 2012/5/26 16:20
Lordoitagain
Member



Joined: 2008/5/23
Posts: 600
Monroe, LA - USA

 Re:

Personally, I have not found this thread discouraging but interesting. Paul said:

1Co 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.


Whatever that "demonstration of the Spirit and of power" was that happened through Paul's ministry, it accomplished a wonderful thing. It grounded their faith in the power of God and not in the wisdom of men. For some, such demonstrations may have been what is labled "signs and wonders" for others, it may have simply been some kind of explosion inside their own minds and hearts that powerfully "went off" convincing them that the words of life that they were hearing were from God.

Don't despair, dear brother Bearmaster. If there are doubters of signs and wonders on this forum, the day will soon come when they will be believing in them and experiencing them. We are a pampered society. We have access to all kinds of medical help and really haven't known very many REAL emergency situations that a simple call to 911 couldn't fix. When the bottom falls out, and danger is at the door, the saints on SI will be crying out to God for miracles, and they will be happening. They won't be publishing them on SI because SI will be a blessed wonderful memory. Hiding out with soldiers banging at the doors, we will be praying for God to supernaturally distract them, and GUESS WHAT .... He will supernaturally do it. If He doesn't it will be be because His plan is to supernaturally sustain us in a suffering time of torture. A family member will get high fever and there will be no doctors nor antibiotics available, and SI saints will pray fervently for the family member to not die, and GUESS WHAT ... God will answer that prayer and preserve that life. If He doesn't, they will thank God for allowing them to leave this miserable earth and pass into His presence.

THANK GOD for Greg and Zac and others challenging us to examine the demonstrations that we see today, but a person who has experienced a divine act of God in his life need not be discouraged by others' doubts. In 1988, I went to the hospital here in Monroe LA with some kind of undiagnosed condition that was killing me, but the doctors in the state-run hospital couldn't figure it out. My temp stayed around 103. I was rapidly losing weight. I was beginning to look like a skeleton covered with skin. My lung cavity filled up with fluid. With all of the tests that they were conducting they couldn't figure it out. My pastor (who believed in divine healing) said later: "Michael when I looked at you, I knew that if somebody didn't get ahold of God, you wouldn't be here long". The church prayed. Finally 5 weeks after the onset of the thing, they did exploratory surgery on me thinking that they would find lymphoma, but what they found was that (5 weeks earlier) my appendix had ruptured, and healed up on its own. The ill affects that I had experienced was a struggle with gangrene attempting to take my life. Normally when the appendix ruptures a person is dead within 24-48 hours. Did we get on national TV and draw attention to ourselves with a "documented miracle"? Of course not! We just humbly thanked God and went on serving Him. At that time in my life I was personally hoping that God would let me go on to heaven, but God, in His gentle way, used the situation to make me realize that He had more work for me to do on earth.

In the last few years, my ministry has brought me into contact with several Christians whose families are in what we would consider poverty stricken countries. A good friend Carlos from Guatemala has family members in a church where signs and wonders occur on a regular basis. I've seen videos of their services. They are poor humble people who mostly communicate in Indian dialects but Carlos talks to me in Spanish. The women all have long hair and long white veils over their hair and wear long VERY modest dresses. They sing and sing and get happy and start moving around expressing great joy. I haven't seen them falling out, but they do get very joyful. They have a prayer group and when someone is sick they go and pray and God heals. Last fall he was telling me about a man who had (all of his life that he had known him) always had a bar in his house and sold liquor. His son got paralyzed on half of his body and the limited medical attention that they had couldn't help him. The prayer group went and prayed and God healed him. Now the bar is shut down and the whole family is serving God. On another occasion, a family member of Carlos' hired a witchdoctor to do sorcery against his wife and children. The witchdoctor himself almost died from the "backfire" of trying to do sorcery on a child of God. The church prayed for him, and he got saved and stopped his sorcery work and now serves the Living God.

Whatever demonstration of the Spirit and of power that is needed to accompany the preaching in whatever cultural setting, God will use it to bring souls to Him. The danger comes in when signs and wonders accompany a "gospel" that does not produce holy living. Those kinds of signs and wonders are rampant in the USA, but as soon as the curtain falls and God changes the scenery here (probably sooner than we think), and God's wrath hits the USA for our departure from Him, such false religion will fade away. Can you imagine Benny Hinn taking his "religion" to the underground church of China? They would cast the devil out of him!


_________________
Michael Strickland

 2012/5/26 17:01Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Personally, I have not found this thread discouraging but interesting.

Forgive me, I didn't mean that the thread was discouraging, I meant that every time this subject is brought up those who are against the gifts of the Spirit working through men and women is discouraging. Every time someone is known to work in this area he is always criticized. And Jesus is apart of that company because they had nothing good to say about His miracles either.

I just find that some people are scared of the gifts of the Spirit. I have no gifts, but if I did have them, one thing is for sure you cannot hide from men. People will search you out, you can't help but be popular. That is why Jesus prayed all night, popular men need more time with God than they do with anyone else, not criticism.

 2012/5/26 18:38









 Re: Water and Spirit

Quote:
I just find that some people are scared of the gifts of the Spirit. I have no gifts, but if I did have them, one thing is for sure you cannot hide from men. People will search you out, you can't help but be popular. That is why Jesus prayed all night, popular men need more time with God than they do with anyone else, not criticism.



No doubt that there are many saints who are ‘scared’ of the gifts of the Spirit. Perhaps they are ‘scared’ because they are against them and therefore have a belief arising out of that. Namely, that the gifts of The Holy Spirit are become false. This is a dichotomy which has existed in the church ever since the reformation. It is a false dichotomy because there is no sound reason to say that the gifts of The Holy Spirit are false today, anymore that it would have been reasonable to have said so in the apostle’s day. Others are scared of the gifts of The Holy Spirit because they have been harmed by their use. Namely, they have been harmed by men and women who though having a gift, yet do not see that they can harm others when they mingle the flesh and the gift of The Spirit together, producing confusion. Much worse than this some have wilfully exercised gifts to harm others with their power. Many do not realise that sorcery or witchcraft is a deed of the flesh. A man doesn’t need an unclean spirit tending to witchcraft or sorcery in order to practise these things. (Galatians 5:19-20). Others are ‘scared’ because they have a love of the Truth and see much error coming by those who profess the gifts of The Spirit.

Paul the apostle encouraged every believer to seek after the gift of prophecy precisely because receiving such a gift would have an outcome as well as an outworking of effects. The outcome would be that it wouldn’t be possible to boast in such a gift if everyone has the gift. The outworking of effects would be that the hearts of men being revealed through the exercise of the gift would cause unbelieving men to know and declare that God is indeed amongst men. Hearing a true prophecy to the believer always causes the one whose hears, to worship God.

The inclination to go after men is also wicked. Yet it is the very fabric and substance of the natural man. In Isaiah the evil one is shown to have fallen into this way of working or labouring with the consequence that his effects led others at that time to draw away from God and to adore him. He then by their adoration is drawn to the place from which there was no return. He desired to be like God. This is what the Lord Jesus condemned in those who came after him seeking for signs and wonders. It is also why Jesus often took Himself away to be alone. Men desire to be the centre and through that desire others going after them compound the effect, until the man starts to lord it over them. History is filled up to the heavens with examples of this effect and outcome. Jesus came to serve and not be served. Hence His rebuke.

James the Lord’s half-brother and the Bishop of Jerusalem used the phrase “earthbound, natural and demonic”. It is a very telling phrase because it equally applies to Satan, demons and men. All of whom in their persistent condition or else in the flesh, with regard to men, are true. The gifts of The Holy Spirit are heavenly but they are given to men on earth. If saints don’t walk in resurrection life depending on the Risen Lord, and by faith see that they are seated in Christ, at the right hand of the Father they will always be inclined to mix their natural abilities with the gifts of The Spirit to an ill effect. Satan depends on this fact and it is the strength and power of his labours. Rarely does that wicked one lend his own strength to a man. He depends on men lending their strength to him. Throughout the whole Scriptures only two men are explicitly used by Satan in this direct way; The Man of Sin in Revelations, and Judas Iscariot in the Gospels.

Just as in the day of the evil one’s rebellion, other creatures were gradually given over to a condition. From their angelic countenance and beauty they were brought down to a demonic condition; driven by natural lusts, always earthbound and always demonic. When men give themselves over to these same lusts; whether of the mind or the body, they also increase in this same effect. Jesus said “have I not chosen all of you? Yet one of you is a devil” When Judas took his own life having been driven through a willingness; even a love of money unto a thief, he could not bear what he had done. Satan had departed from him and now he had to face the reality of the effect. He couldn’t and fearfully took his own life. It is written that he” went unto his own place”.

The book of Roman’s is written to address this profound reality of the condition of the flesh and the lusts thereof as well as the law of sin and death which works in everyone who is born of a woman. Jesus alone was without this condition hence why He becomes the first born amongst many. We need to be wise today. The evil one is producing increased effects of deception and his principle power is the souls of men. We are men even though we may be male and female, we are men. Even though we may be born of a new life, even Christ in us the hope of glory; we are of flesh in the first place being born in the image and likeness of our natural father’s, and of a woman according to the flesh, even our mother’s. We are born of water first and the Spirit lastly. First we drew breath and cry out filling our lings with the air, thereafter we cry out to God and are born of the Spirit of God.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are precious and wonderful. By them we can bring honour and praises to God. By using them wisely, in the spirit and not in the flesh, we can see others become knowledgeable, wise, whole, repentant, faithful, full of truth, having a love of the Truth and much more. Praise God for the baptism and the gift of The Holy Spirit without which we would have little power to serve Him.

Andrew

 2012/5/27 8:14





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