"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
That time 10 years ago, was lying signs and wonders, i knew nothing of God, and i was utterly deceived as to what was God, it was nothing, no-matter how dramatic, the healings, the manifestations, my heart was still unbroken and desperately wicked- so those manifestations affirmed my state, i thought that i was o.k. because of the signs.
Wow! thank you so much for the humblessness to share your experience brother!
Please realise in this i am not in any way saying that you are as i was, but rather - does these things bring change.....?
I think you have hit the main point of all of this brother, satan can counterfeit the manifestations and signs of the Spirit of God. But he cannot bring about a change in character and holy living that the 'Holy Spirit' can do. God makes us a 'New Creation' by his Spirit and makes us to walk before him blameless in all holiness and sobriety. I challange anyone who is thinking about these things also: Is there a change in your life apart from the 'hoppla' and 'showyness' of it all?
"In spite of all the wonderful things that were taking place in the Church, God's people were beginning to realize that something very vital was lacking; and many began to lose interest in the spectacluar. The big tents were folded up and the people begain to gather together just to 'hear' what God was saying. There had developed a new hunger to know God's ways, and a [b]new thirsting after God and righteousness[/b].
This is not to say that God stopped working in the realm of the miraculous, for He has indeed been faithful in pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh even as He promised He would do in the last days. [b]But in spite of the miraculous many of God's people have become aware of the fact that we have no been able to meet the challange of this hour. The church has stil not become that vital, living manifestation of Christ in the earth that she should be[/b]."
-George H. Warnock (The Feast of the Tabernacles)
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2003/8/3 16:37||Profile|
As I mentioned in the welcome section, I greatly appreciate your spirit of humility. I also appreciate and respect that you are speaking from first-hand experience.
"I do not know, if it was because they [the signs and wonders themselves] were false, or if it was because the falseness was entirely of me. See that is the thing, that being false myself, i simply could not receive the truth.
I know i was false, so safely that is all i can know."
I think this is a very fair statment. but then how do say right before that "That time 10 years ago, was lying signs and wonders..."?
It seems that underlying this is some seemingly false assumptions that I would like to address.
1. That the manifest presence of God will automatically change you and sanctify you.
I think this is nothing more than an assumption. God never "forces" us to change. We make that choice, it's not automatic. Right? It seems to me very reasonable that God might just want to bless His children in certain ways simply becasue He loves them. Who says His intention has to be to change us? He loves us just as we are. I would think that such an experience would change a man, but it's not a given. Is there a verse that says, "The manifest presence of God will profit you"? I think God is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh. Spirit on flesh. There's flesh involved.
2. That you have to be a certain type of Christian for God to bless you in whatever way He may choose to.
That's why the "I felt this power but it couldn't have been God because I was so screwed up" view doesn't seem to hold to me. God is all-loving and loves to love people if they will let Him and recieve it. Right?
"That time 10 years ago, was lying signs and wonders, i knew nothing of God, and i was utterly deceived as to what was God, it was nothing, no-matter how dramatic, the healings, the manifestations, my heart was still unbroken and desperately wicked- so those manifestations affirmed my state, i thought that i was o.k. because of the signs."
This seems to be faulty logic as I described above. It seems to me that it was simply your mistake to assume that you were ok because you were experiencing these things. It also goes to show that these things are not to be the focus, only a natural by-product of God working, which is often supernatural. It is man's mistake to focus too much on these things.
The Bible seems to clearly show that witnessing these things says nothing about you. ANyone can witness them and still be messed up. The Pharisees saw all kinds of sings and wonders, but they were unchanged by it. In fact, it seems to me that it made them worse to witness these things because they became more hard-hearted. ANd I think this is what often happens today.
3. It is a rare thing for God to show signs and wonders so wherever it happens it must have a certain significance that we can understand.
First of all, while it may seem rare or unique to us today, it wasn't that way in the New Testament. It was the norm. The normal Christian life. And I think it's becoming more normal and common amongst Christians all the time. As far as our understanding the reasons and significance for it: God's ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. We don't have to understand any of it, and a lot of the time we probably won't.
4. The vessels God uses to show forth His signs and wonders must be "special" Christians.
I can't exactly word this the way I want to but I think I am expressing the spirit of this conception. That if God is using a man to heal others or if they are performing other signs and wonders, then that man must be exceptional in some way for God to be using him. Beyond reproach. But I see no evidence for this scripturally. Peter walked on water and cast when he was still very messed up and I think it was later that Jesus rebuked him saying, "Get away from me Satan." Yes, the same man who walked on water and cast out demons got called Satan by Jesus. Right? In Luke 9 Jesus gives the disciples power and authority over all the demons, and to heal diseases. But if you continue to read, in the same chapter Jesus rebukes them for their unbelief and they make other mistakes. Esp. check out verse 41 ("Jesus said, 'O unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and put up with you?..."). Then in verses 46 and following they are arguing about who's the greatest. Then verses 49 and 50 are ones that desperately need to be read and meditated upon today.
"And John answered and said, 'Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to hinder him because he does not follow along with us.' But Jesus said to him, 'Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you (or 'on your side')." Mark records the instance in this way, "John said to Him, 'Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to hinder him because he was not following us.' But Jesus said, 'Do not hinder him, for there is no one who shall perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is for us." (Mark 9:38-40)
I think all Christians have the ability and the right to walk in signs and wonders if we would only have faith. Though God is sovereign in His choosing.
Also, if there's a counterfeit than there's the real thing. If all that's going on is counterfeit (and I believe some of it may be) then where's the real thing?
"My experience of God, in the last three years, has been, so dramatically different.
Another quote from John - that we are given the Spirit of truth, who leads us into all truth.
My experience is of, The God who loves me enough to challenge me ruthlessly, in the presence of Him, there is little place for my former religion of ....
'all for me, all for me
but i'll say its all You Lord,'
-and no place but for the pain of real change."
It truly gives me great joy to know that you have matured so in the past 3 years. Now it seems you are experiencing different aspects of God's love, but it's only my humble opinion that you might have been experiencing other aspects before.
"most importantly Todd, this question is for you.
Is there any change?"
Thank you for what I perceive to be your true concern for me. This might surprise you, but I have actually not experienced God in a way like you described. I have experienced Him in other ways, but not like that, hours soaking in His manifest presence. Though I hope to. And the ways I have experienced God do chance me, but they don't force me to change. It's always up to me how I will respond.
It has been a huge blessing in the last month to realize His overwhelming love for me despite my mess-up's. I have really been experiencing how it's His kindness that leads to repentance.
"So that we may know Him, that we might be granted the spirit of revelation of truth, that in truth He we can behold.
With eyes unveiled and hearts afire, we in ever increasing measure may perceive in Spirit and truth, Jesus Christ our Lord."
Amen. May this be so.
| 2003/8/3 17:55||Profile|
| Re:interesting experiences....|
todd, just some short answers. The long answer- well it is long.
'the lying signs and wonders thing'.- I can understand the confusion, it would sound absolutely contridictary, if I was talking in a general sense. I was just talking about me. So then it makes sense. It was a lie, [in that in me it was], but the thing that I am sure of -is the fault that lay with me. The rest, being anyone else, I honestly am not sure.
And now the points.
1. Yes I think that the same breath of life, that carried on it the Words of God and brought our entire world into being, by that same Spirit, that raised Jesus from the dead, In the presence of the Holy Spirit, of our Holy Lord-Yes!
If it is indeed the MANIFEST PRESENCE of God -[ wow,] that to be in that presence is to change....but somehow automatically- just dosn't seem to fit.
It sounds like car, kinda mechanical.
Which is nothing like the amazing God we serve. Whose creativity, really blows my mind. Even on one tree, every leaf is absolutely individual- on only one tree there could easily be at least 100s of leaves, each one after its kind, and utterly unique.
So yes- not automatically though.
2. Yes- and that certain type, is called a real one. You know the tares and wheat thing.
As for the rest, well every human being that has existed in the entire history of the Human race, has been blessed with the greatest opportunity possible- in that God has given them life, and that life their opportunity to know Him. There is no blessing that can compare with that.
2a. yes- I did assume that because I was part of the experience of this thing, that I was o.k. Is that faulty logic? Absolutely.
3. I don't think that these things are rare.
We live in a world where obviously demonic manifestations, of definite immediate life benefit, are so common, that to strip this world of them- might even leave it naked? That is a interesting thought.
I do not at all think that these things are rare.
I am priveliged enough to have watched first hand, a genuine medically documented miracle. Cancer, advanced.
Because of my church background I am familar with the various workings of all the spiritual gifts, and have seen manifestations of all different types.
4. what does 'special' mean. When I was a teen, to be 'special'- was actually quite an insult. [As my 7yr old would say DAAA mum- you know the homar thing]. to be special meant, that you were an absolute dawk. I hope that dawk dosn't mean anything more where you are.. than well, -idiot I guess.
As for special- well God chooses the weak and foolish things of the world, the things that are not....so that no flesh may glory in His presence.
I'm not special, except for one reason, and that reason is the only reason that counts.
I'm special, being honoured beyond words, in that God has chosen me to pour His love out on.
But that makes us all special dosn't it.
So yes, i will have the ability, by the grace given by God to receive and so do, all that He has prepared for me to do.
4a.The real thing is there.
Because it is God Who gives, there is not one who can according to place in history, geographical location, or some kind of superstar sensation- have any advantage. God is the giver. And as He is entirely Just, in that there is great hope and expectancy of good, great good from Him who Is absolutely Good.
4b.Thank-you for your humble opinion. You are being much kinder than I deserve, but it is not the truth.
It is important that this is absolutely clear.
What I have received from God, I would lose by not being truthful, - the Spirit of truth cannot dwell in a lie. To make me better, I have to then make Him lesser, so I stay a scoundrel I'm afraid.
One of my most amazing and precious realisations of the wonder and beauty of God, came at a time where, in struggling I had once again messed up; utterly failed in fact.
In that moment of time, it was revealed to me in such powerful way, in the understanding He showed me, how much I was loved. That changed my life.
God Bless JoBee
| 2003/8/4 11:08||Profile|
arn't i going to be everyone's favourite person now?
9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
we pray for revival, we get revival, we don't always get what we expected revival to be.
say if you wrote up a list of how you think the Holy Spirit should manifest. how different would it be from God's list?
we also have to see the ministries that came out of TACF and the ministries related to it. an excellent example would be Rolland and Heidi baker's iris ministries. would the devil start 1000s of churches, preach the gospel, get people saved, raise the dead, heal the sick, multiply food as Jesus did?
Rob Rufus says "oh we have such a small God that clearly all these manifestations have to be the devil, because the devil is so big and God so small. no, friends!"
January 20 1995 toronto airport church was kicked off the vineyard team. the leader of vineyard said he believed that God wan't calling him to lead churches like toronto airport.
they've 'kissed and made' up since then though.
38"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."
39"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40for whoever is not against us is for us. 41I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.
20Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."
22And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub[c]! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons."
23So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan? 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27In fact, no one can enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. 28I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin."
30He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit."
perhaps we should be a little cautious when speaking against Christ's bride.
| 2007/5/5 12:46||Profile|
Zac Poonen has a sermon on avoiding deception. The main point is watch how they handle the money - the remainder of their doctrine may be spot on!
Having been in and out of a handful of churches of different types and 'temperatures', I agree with him. It is the first thing I checkout when evaluating a ministry. If they mishandle money, they will definitely mishandle spiritual things, [b]even if the gifts are genuinely from God![/b]. If I can't trust someone with my wallet, how can I ever trust them with the smallest opening to my spirit?
I don't know the TACF, but selling 'soaking kits' smacks of shameless commercialism. If a ministry is genuinely concerned with God's honour and the salvation of souls, their last concern should be how many pennies are left in someone's pocket and how to get to them. If people really 'need' this stuff to 'find God', why not give it to them? Did Jesus or the apostles ever sell 'soaking kits'? On the contrary, he broke the bread and fed five thousand. Isn't another man's relationship with God worth more than earning a quid?
I believe God's gifts are for today, and that we need them more than ever. But before God gives them to us, we need to find and hold onto thorough repentance. We also need a deep respect for the fact that the gifts of God are holy and priceless, and that they should only be used with the utmost respect for God's purpose. If not, they will become razor blades in the hand of a baby.
Under no circumstances should God's gifts be used as entertaining party tricks, nor to catch a quick buck.
Act 8:20 But Peter said unto him, [b]Thy money perish with thee[/b], because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Act 8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
If Simone the sorcerer was cursed for trying to buy the gifts of God as a new believer, how much more damnable is it to try to sell them as an 'experienced' leader?
| 2007/5/5 14:01||Profile|
Another scripture on mixing God's power and financial interest :-
2Ki 5:26 And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from, his chariot to meet thee? [b]Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?[/b]
2Ki 5:27 [b]The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed forever[/b]. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
It's sobering to think that if Gehazi lineage hasn't been broken, he still has descendants suffering today because of his greed.
It's interesting that both examples of mixing God's power with greed invoked a curse.
The biblical account regarding the prophet Balaam probably adds to the list.
| 2007/5/5 14:14||Profile|
Being "slain in the Spirit", and "laughing in the Spirit" has been around in Pentecostal/charismatic circles before "Toronto".
My personal encounter with this was when there was a local meeting, in the days when Jim Sepulveda (spelling?) and others were just getting going in the UK. I had never heard any hint that such an experience might possibly not be of God.
The speaker was American but there was no hype at all. He was a very tall, thin, quiet man, very diffident in manner. At the time I was nervous of letting this falling down when prayed for happen to me. So I went forward for prayer, partly to deal with this fear of "letting go to the Lord" in this way. As far as I was concerned I was receiving from Him, not the man - or so I thought.
I was fully conscious throughout, aware of all that was going on, but suddenly couldn't stand up. It was so nice on the floor that I didn't want to get up. Then I started laughing. Again it wasn't forced or unnatural, but with a sense of great joy and euphoria. In fact (and mark this) it was [i][b]the nearest thing to the feeling I'd had when first born again[/b][/i]. The sense of blessing was tremendous.
Several years later "Toronto" came into vogue. By that time I'd heard warnings about this, and believed them, so no way would I let anything like that happen again.
At a ladies' prayer conference, one speaker said that if you had ever fallen down when someone prayed for you then you must repent. I thought, "That seems a bit extreme! Surely what happened to me that time was of God (in spite of the obvious abuses and demonic things getting in, in some areas)...wasn't it?"
I took it to the Lord. "If she's right, I'm willing to repent, but you have to show me what exactly I'm supposed to repent of, because I honestly have no idea!"
And He did, so I did!
| 2007/5/5 15:21|
Quote:This to me really shows the [i]extreme subtlety[/i] of the deception. No doubt the dear man who spoke that night was as deceived as any of us.
The speaker was American but there was no hype at all. He was a very tall, thin, quiet man, very diffident in manner.
...As far as I was concerned I was receiving from Him, not the man - or so I thought.
...it wasn't forced or unnatural, but with a sense of great joy and euphoria. In fact (and mark this) it was [i][b]the nearest thing to the feeling I'd had when first born again[/b][/i]. The sense of blessing was tremendous.
Maybe, because of his sincerity and obvious humility; and my equal sincerity and ignorance, the Lord had mercy and there was no lasting harm from it.
I'm not saying that people don't become unable to stand when the Holy Spirit comes upon them: There are Biblical examples, Daniel, John in Revelation, possibly Job...(the Lord tells him to "stand up like a man!") but would be very wary of anything of this nature mediated through human agencY (though again there could be exceptions, such as in Acts where the apostles prayed for believers to receive the Spirit)
But we need to be very very careful...
| 2007/5/5 15:31|
| Re: a dream|
Around the time "Toronto" first came into vogue there was a dream.
It was a meeting in a hall. There was a platform, but no-one on the platform. The leaders of the meeting were scrunched at the back in a corner of the room, behind some kind of lectern.
One of them said "RUN!" and everyone started running around and around the room, as fast as they could. The heavy atmosphere in the room was so strong that I began to run with them, willy-nilly, almost couldn't help myself.
Then I managed to stop, thinking "this can't be right". But the power in the room was so hard to resist. I also knew that I would be accused of resisting the Holy Spirit - except that, even in the dream, I sensed that it wasn't the Holy Spirit.
Afterwards a phrase from Acts 26:26 came to mind, "this thing was not done in a corner". Yet the leaders in the dream were in the corner, and the platform, where true leadership should be, was empty.
I think the interpretation is straightforward!
| 2007/5/5 15:45|
| Re: Greg|
Some have said that Greg should not have gone to Toronto, although this point has been discussed, and there was no criticism.
I would just like to comment on this in general...
We don't [i]need[/i] to go to such things to know they are wrong. Indeed it can be dangerous.
That's why you have to be [i]absolutely sure[/i] in such cases that [i]the Lord[/i] has told you to go. Which I'm sure was the case with Greg.
Re having an "open mind" it's also necessary to be sure of one's spiritual ground, and to be walking closely with Him. Maybe someone who goes to such a meeting (knowing there could be spiritual danger) should have been a believer at least a year (compare the OT law that no-one should be drafted to the army for a year after getting married!)
Its also important to be free of fear, lest "that which you fear come upon you".
Also free of of pride that you "know it all" and as a mature Christian there is no danger. I got caught like that one time. Some JW's knocked on the door and I went with the attitude "I'll show them!"
And they tied me up in knots, so much so that I began to wonder if they had some Truth after all! I really had to repent that time!
Of course, "babes" can get into danger in all innocence, and the Lord would not be a good Father if He didn't watch over them, as He did me (though I was "old enough to know better"!)
| 2007/5/5 15:58|