Matthew 24:12Because lawlessness will increase the love of many will grow cold.Matthew 7:21-23Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name? Then I will announce them, I never knew you. Depart from me you law breakers.Jesus says in the end times lawlessness is increasing. Those who come above boasting of what they have done are told to depart from his presence. He calls them lawbreakers. What law have they broken?When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, and expert in the law, asked a question to test him: "Teacher which command in the law is the greatest?"He said to him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it; Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets depend on these two commands."...Mat. 22:34-40Could it be the lawlessness that Jesus is speaking of in the end times will be the rejecting of his two great commands? Could it be those who came to him and said that they had prophesied in his name. And in his name did many miracles and drove out demons. Those he would say depart from me you who practice lawlessness. Could it be that though they did great miracles. They did not have the law of Love written in their hearts?Could it be that Jesus is speaking to us in the evangelical church? Do we have the law of Love written on our hearts?Questions to ponder.Blaine
I think you're quite right, Blaine. Not only evangelical, but especially the charismatic, as they are the ones who claim to move in signs & wonders. B. H. Clendennen (a classical Pentecostal) once preached that we cannot turn the gifts on and off like a hydrant. We are vessels through whom God can sovereignly operate when and if He chooses...or He can bypass us altogether to accomplish His purposes.When people turn the gifts of God into a money-making "ministry" they have erred from the Faith.
Alex I wonder if Jesus did have in mind the modern-day chrarismatics who would operate in his bride. I mean those who would display the gifts in a way of hucksterism and charlatanism. Those who would peddle the word of God for profit.I do believe in the prophetic signs and wonders. But I believe they need to be performed in love. We certainly see in nations like China and Iran where healings and other miracles are taking place. But they're taking place in an attitude of love.I find it interesting that the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 is placed in between chapters 12 and 14 regarding the spiritual gifts.Appreciate your thoughts and insights.Blaine
It seems to me Jesus had in mind first and foremost guys like Judas who was given authority to preach and cast out demons. He was a man who had been given power like the High priest but who was not changed in the heart. Beyond that though even true believers should let the warning of " I never knew you" have its desired effect like Paul did with the Corinthian church who employed their great power without brotherly love. He, they and us will know we know Jesus by our love for one another.
Blaine, almost 20 years ago I saw Brother Yun give his testimony in person (accompanied by a translator). Amazing & miraculous accounts. I have also heard of other Chinese saints who are largely unknown in the western world doing incredible exploits for the kingdom of God. I myself received the baptism of the Holy Spirit (with the initial evidence of glossolalia) in early 1993, & other gifts were subsequently manifested in the following years.But in charismania I have heard so much false prophecy, seen so many tongues without power (no agape love was motivating, only self-aggrandizement), & false claims of healing (the only thing legitimate was undeniable revenue being brought in).Most of the genuine miracles that I know of going on now are NOT widely shared online or on camera. In fact, many are deliberately kept secret. "See that you tell no man," our Lord Jesus often said to those who received healing or miraculous deliverance in the Gospels.
Alex I can testify that many miracles that are taking place in restricted nations are not publicized over here. I think to a large degree that the Miracles are peddled for profit.But I think also we simply do not have the faith to believe that God can do miracles as he did in Acts. I think two reasons account for this lack of faith.The first is we have everything provided for us. I remember speaking with a Kenyan pastor and asking him if the miracles I heard about in Africa were real. He said yes brother they are real. When I asked him why they have miracles and we in America don't. The brother replied gently to me that in America we have an urgent aid clomics and hospitals and insurance. He said when you're a hundred miles from the nearest aid station. And a saint is sick. You have no choice but to call upon God. This is one reason why we see or hear about miracles that are being performed by God and restricted nations. They have nothing but God himself.I think the second reason we don't see legitimate christ-centered miracles is the doctrine of cessationism. Certain well known Bible teachers have said that miracles went out when the scriptures were canonized. Now that we have the scriptures we don't need the Holy Spirit. We don't need miracles.Just some additional thoughts brother.Blaine
by CalvaryCom I think you're quite right, Blaine. Not only evangelical, but especially the charismatic, as they are the ones who claim to move in signs & wonders. B. H. Clendennen (a classical Pentecostal) once preached that we cannot turn the gifts on and off like a hydrant. We are vessels through whom God can sovereignly operate when and if He chooses...or He can bypass us altogether to accomplish His purposes.When people turn the gifts of God into a money-making "ministry" they have erred from the Faith.
by bearBut we do not want the "demands" of the cross. His demands that require us to crucify our fleshly selves so that he will live in us. His demands that require us to crucify our love for the world. Our love for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life.
Good morning, and a special good morning to all the good folks out there everyday doing the lords work according to his will for their lives. Mr. Bill recognizes you today, may God continue to Bless you and your ministry. God Bless!
Lysa said,"In the same sermon, the brother stated that he took a homeless guy to wal-mart (before the homeless dude could shower) and bought him new clothes and shoes (he prayed for help to get rid of them) and an 18 year old worker passed by with a huge trash can and he got to throw the old clothes away. But he got to the cash register and the cashier said, "If everyone would do what you were doing, this would be a different world!" And he said, "You got in 5 minutes what I travel all over the United States to share with people!""In my humble opinion, these so-called "demands" wouldn't be demands if we allowed the Love of God to come in change each one of us."Lysa,I saw this same testimony about the brother who took the man to Wal-Mart! I was in tears. It was one of those messages that has helped to change my approach in ministry to others. The key to all ministry, gifts, fruit, signs, and wonders is LOVE, period! Faith works by love.My whole approach to reading the word, ministering, stepping out in faith now all goes through the filter of love. Understanding Gods love for me and His love for others. I can tell you for a fact it has revolutionized the response I have been getting from others.A co minister of the brother at Wal-Mart takes his family and ministers regularly in the streets and the foundation of the whole approach is loving people. He has shared that his kids said they much rather minister in the streets because when they go to churches there is a hinderance in the manifestation of their ministry and encouragement to others.I've thought about that for some time and find that there is more strife, division, and arguments in the church over doctrine and how to do this or that or how to interpret scripture and its this that hinders people from getting healed, set free, and delivered.About a year ago I took a break from listening to more doctrinal teaching and have been more focused on the practical application of ministering to people in love, praying for them, and accepting them right where they are.Its like I have been delivered from the proverbial hamsters wheel of just spinning in circles. A wheel of fruitless religious works and performance.For me, I think religious people are far more bound up with their knowledge and understanding of scripture than the people we are to be ministering to. God now has me more focused on developing a relationship with Him so I can encourage others to do like wise. Its truly been liberating.I will share an example. Where I live I run into a lot of homeless people daily and while I felt compelled to give them money it always came with a third degree as to what they were going to use the money for. I would preach at them that the money was only to be used for food and not drugs or alcohol. That is bondage pure and simple. One of the biggest problems I had was micromanaging the word of God that I preached. Micromanaging the Holy Spirit. I can now give money in the name of Jesus from a pure heart of faith and love and I can be at total peace and free knowing that God will take this simple gesture and do with it as He wills. Walls that have been built up in my family have now been torn down and bearing more fruit then all the previous years of my preaching rules and performance to my family. By simply loving people their hearts are now open to receive the word of the Lord and there is a genuine interest and desire in knowing what God wants for them and their lives.