Where Did the Power Go?

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  1. odenfong says:

    He never left, but is ignored.

  2. odenfong says:

    In our hideaway church, the power of the Holy Spirit is very present. People are healed, demons are cast out, the presence of God is felt and experienced by everyone who comes.

  3. Tim says:

    Amen to Oden’s thought. When born-again Christians stop seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit, it’s no surprise that we don’t see more of what was written about in the NT.

    One other thought here as well that I’ve often considered.

    I know the version of the Great Commission given in Mark is a disputed passage. I personally believe it’s canon, but put that aside for a moment. In that passage, Jesus links the workings of miracles with the preaching of the gospel. vs. 17: “And these signs will follow those who believe…”

    Could it be we don’t see more manifestations of the power of the Holy Spirit because the Church (by and large) has pushed basic evangelism to the background? Instead of gospel preaching, we find programs & all sorts of stuff to take it’s place.

    Something to chew on.

  4. filbertz says:

    people want church more than they want Christ. It is easy to conform to church. Christ demands transformation. Church is on our terms. Transformation is on His.

  5. Michael says:

    Oden,

    Are you experiencing the same types of healings as the early church?
    Are they verifiable healings?

    You’ve been holding out on us. 🙂

  6. Not Alone says:

    Michael, are you talking about “the gifts”? If so, I have often wondered that also. During that time almost anyone who used the name of Jesus could do miraculous things (Mark 9:38-41), what happened to that. Was is diluted over time?

  7. Not Alone says:

    Those things were happening before the Holy Spirit came to us. Maybe it became more selective after He came.

  8. Michael says:

    Not Alone,

    Yes…the gifts, but also the tangible encounters with the kingdom.

    I can explain it all away theologically…but it takes some wrangling to do so. 😉

  9. Bob Middleton says:

    I still think it’s here, but the manifestation is different in different areas. I believe the power of The Spirit was to validate ministry, which Paul talked about 1 Cor 2. In most areas of the USA manifestations of “Power” attract Simon the sorcerer types more than validate the preaching of the Gospel. The validity of the Christian message isn’t in question as much now as the validity of the Christian messenger, which needs a display of another type of power, the power of moral transformation.

  10. Xenia says:

    Read the lives of the Saints, both old and new. It’s still happening!

  11. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Old I know about…tell us about new.

  12. filbertz says:

    I believe much of the discussion revolves around the nature of ‘validation.’ Supernatural displays–signs and wonders–miracles–validate in a different way than the consistency and testimony of a transformed life. Moral authority, theological integrity, sound argumentation, proficient logic, great faith, etc. all carry weight or “power” of a sort, and can be convincing or validating. But validation from ‘on High’ is different, for it by-passes or negates human beginnings.

  13. Michael says:

    fil,

    Excellent point…I still think we should be experiencing both.

    I might be wrong.. 🙂

  14. filbertz says:

    Michael,
    Yes, both. But does a supernatural manefestation in any way depend on us? Our prayers? Our faith? Our expectancy?

    I suspect I know your response, but will let you speak for yourself. 😉

  15. Xenia says:

    I have to leave in a few minutes for the morning, but one story comes to mind from the Soviet Gulag era, the story of Fr. Averky, who was imprisoned for his faith. On one occasion Fr. Averky and a fellow prisoner, a young man, were put in a special punishment cell, which was a very small metal box with no heating, outside in the -30 degree winter weather, for several days. When the guard opened the box he expected them both to be dead (frozen solid) but instead they were fine. They had spent the time in heaven, turns out. Fr. Averky was an extremely humble, righteous older man who made himself a servant of everyone in his barracks, including the sadistic guards and inmates. I think God is more likely to perform miracles on behalf of people like this. If that’s the case, there’s probably plenty of miracles that still happen but we never hear about them because God uses quiet, simple, humble people who the world does not know about.

    There’s a lot of stories (how verifiable they are, I can’t tell) about miraculous occurrences among believers under the Communist Yoke. And I know a few local stories, but again, I don’t know if they have been verified. These things don’t happen up on a stage, they are more likely to happen in private, when a person is praying. And many of them involve the intercessory prayer of Saints, which I know most of you would reject.

  16. Not Alone says:

    Why not both? Do we explain away the disappearance of the miraculous powers to help us push off the fear that we might be doing something wrong?

  17. Michael says:

    fil,

    I know how I would have answered a couple of years ago.

    Today I’m on a mission to read the text and teach the text as it is, not as how it’s been explained to me.

    Having said that…it seems that God puts a premium on believing…on faith.

    I haven’t worked it all out yet, but sometimes I wonder if we have pulled the plug ourselves then denied there is a light socket…

  18. Not Alone says:

    “I haven’t worked it all out yet, but sometimes I wonder if we have pulled the plug ourselves then denied there is a light socket…”

    I lean towards that.

  19. filbertz says:

    additionally there is the nature of the ‘audience.’ We tend to dismiss an anecdotal experience because it may not hold up to the scrutiny of a variety of tests. Even your question of Oden about healings being verifiable indicates we live in a society whose standards of skepticism and ‘truth’ are stringent. Even the blind man who was healed by Jesus struggled to convince the pharisees, but that didn’t negate the reality of his new vision. Perhaps a healing only needs to be real to the recipient. When God directly spoke to me, no one else heard, no one else was effected, and most never believed my testemony, but that doesn’t negate the fact that He saved me from significant injury because I heeded His warning.

  20. Em says:

    have to back to read the thread, so i may be redundant …
    God moves when He wants to get something done – but the power is always right there…
    about 200 yards or so behind my house are some of those big transmission lines from one of the nearby dams… the power is always there

    it’s the faith part that’s tricky – that trusting and believing

  21. jlo says:

    I personally know two people who have the gift of healing, and have witnessed first and second hand miracles of God, brought about through them. Neither of them would say they have the gift of healing, but that God used them in specific situations, not everyone they pray for or lay hands on is healed. When a healing does occur it is of a quite nature, not showy in any way, no big fan fare. Lives are transformed within a small circle of people, who in turn have the responsibility to transform the next circle of people.

  22. odenfong says:

    Example: My three year old, when he was a one year old, fell out of our van landing on his face on the street. He not only had a huge swollen head, but cuts and scrapes (road rash) all over his nose and lips. We rushed him to emergency at a local hospital (as we were in another city an hour away) and they treated him the best they could.

    We drove back in silence (crying all the way). I stayed up all night praying in our living room. In the morning, my wife came up the dark hallway from the back of the house, carrying my son. When I saw her face, she was smiling. I looked at my son… not a trace of the accident at all! He had been completely healed.

    We went to church that morning and I didn’t tell the congregation at first, but we had an outpouring of the Spirit during worship and people began to weep. I then told them about my son’s accident and the healing and everyone wanted to see him so they were all crowding into our childcare room.

    The healing didn’t take place at the church service, but it became part of the strength of our church. Other’s have been healed as well, as we pray. We don’t ask for documentation but rejoice in the healings as if they were expected because we have a Father who is a great physician.

    As for deliverance, I don’t like to spend my time casting out demons, but I have done it countless times. I have had people fly in from other cities and states for help.
    When I was working at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, just about all requests for deliverance came to me and I would perform them. But as I said, I don’t like doing them because they (demons) are filthy creatures and verbally foul . Sometimes it takes a long time to get them out.

    All this to say, the powerful, miraculous work of the Holy Spirit is still at work. I don’ t see as many people being healed as in the early days of the revival of 1965-1975, but they still are occurring. I think that the church has stopped believing and expecting miracles.

  23. filbertz says:

    OK, so you didn’t answer the way I suspected, but I liked your response more. 🙂

  24. Nathan says:

    The first thing that came to mind was that the scripture said the Kingdom of God will come in power, not necessarily stay “in power.” Also in that same verse, Mark 9:1, He said that some will not taste death before the kingdom does come. Those that subscribe to the preterist concept would say that the Kingdom did come in power and Jesus already returned. The big problem with that is that, if Jesus returned…the whole world and the early church missed it. And the whole concept that the power of the Spirit has been diluted…really? The power of God diluted?
    My theory is that God gives us what we need. There may be a time when power is what we need but usually we need love. Love isn’t always shiny and glittery. Love doesn’t strike fear in the heart of the unrepentant sinner. But it is….powerful.
    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Cor. 3:1-3)
    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.(1 Cor. 3:13)

  25. Michael says:

    Oden,

    Well said….

    I love the testimonials today…maybe we’re on to something… 🙂

  26. Not Alone says:

    That’s great Oden!

  27. Another Voice says:

    In all seriousness Michael. How do Packer and Piper answer your question. (I know how MacArthur and the Dallas guys answer it).

  28. Not Alone says:

    Miracles do require something from us, remember the certain type of demon that Jesus said required prayer and fasting? Those things happened at a certain time for a certain time, if they were a common thing, then we would just get used to them and they wouldn’t be special anymore.

  29. Michael says:

    AV,

    I don’t know about Piper…I’m not a student of his past his works on justification.

    Packer I need to consult…it doesn’t come up in any of his classes, but he has written a lot on pneumatology and I’m in the process of digging through those.

  30. Apple of His Eye says:

    Growing up in the Pentecostal church, power was equated with emotions, ‘juice,’ etc…

    I had to relearn all of that…It didn’t come over night…

    Every Sunday in the Baptist church I attend, I am aware of the power…My Sunday School teacher who is 75 quietly teaches and all 70 or more in attendance soak it up…We interact…It’s quietly powerful….

    We know it’s powerful because our lives are changed…The Word takes root in our hungry hearts…And the hearts in that class that are hungry, have been faithfully serving the Lord most of their lives….Some are retired from full time service, although I say we’re all in full time service (another blog)…..It blesses me deeply to see people still hungry, satisfied, hungry some more, satisfied, week after week….

    God’s Word on its own is full of power….It doens’t need us to add to it…The ‘arm of flesh’ is tempted to zap it and often ends up taking from it in the process…

    In Bible Study Fellowship year after year I see women coming hungry….We sing hymns, all the verses…We’re taught, quietly….No loud voices…No emotions to speak of….The room is packed…Women make great efforts to not miss….Doctors cancel patients for the BSF class…Employers are asked by their employee if they can have just two hours off to attend their BSF class….It changed my life to watch the power of God’s word transform lives deeply and quietly….from all walks of life….little to non emotion…nothing to attract in the natural…

    The music wasn’t modernized to make it relateable to new believers…The Word wasn’t watered down for easier digestion…I remember a young Mom I had led to Christ through a children’s Bible study I taught to her children in my home……She asked if she could come to BSF with me….I discouraged it becasue we were smack dab in the middle of ‘Israel and the Minor Prophets’ and I didn’t want her to drown or get lost….

    Nothing doing…She insisted on coming…She bought herself her first Bible and showed up at the Bible study…never missed once the rest of the year…Gobbled it up…Quiet study….powerful study….She found her way through the hymnal singing every verse the way the music was written and wasn’t turned off….She found her way through Zephaniah, Haggai, Hosea, Jonah, and all the rest….The Holy Spirit quietly led her….

    We may equate power with some of the wonderful expeirences in the Bible, and they were powerful….The still small voice is powerful too…The Word whispered to the heart of a lonely senior in a home, a patient in a hospital bed, a confused believer, a forsaken child…it’s powerful….Emotions have their place certainly, but often are mistaken as power when they’re not always…..

    Last week I shared quietly the Lord with a group of Seniors in a public High School…It was quiet, there wre thirty of them and you could hear a pin drop (now that’s some power in itself) I was aware of the Holy Spirit and they were too….I walked into an antique store a friend owns and he told me how a CD I made has impacted customers and other friends…story after story…no hype…it’s the Holy Spirit, quiet, still, deep, transforming…

    And Michael, when you teach the Word, and the other pastors in here, that happens all the time too….

  31. Em says:

    Pastor Oden,”I stayed up all night praying in our living room” … i sense that we seldom are as desperate as this, that we don’t give up… we stay upset (shoot up random prayers), yes – or we don’t and call it ‘faith-resting’ – but it is rare for us to hold on and hold on and hold on – praying all night and longer … most of the time it’s not possible to do so – life happens… or so we believe, ie “i’ve got to get to work, school, church etc”
    not preachin… just pondering … again

  32. Waytooclose says:

    I really appreciate reading Mark 6:5 where it says of Jesus ‘He could do no mighty work there…’

    I am certain God desires to work through His Holy Spirit today… I’m just not too certain we want him to do such a thing as that… It can mess up our Pneumatology.

  33. Believe says:

    There are certainly Spiritual things that are irrational, illogical. No matter the precision of mental gymnastics, they cannot be explained away in an air-tight “logos” (man’s reason) argument.

    Logos (the Word…the Absolute Truth) and the Holy Spirit are often outside of our meager ability to comprehend and “explain”…this is where Child-Like Faith comes in, IMO. Sometimes, I believe, we mistake Wisdom for being intellectual.

    Where did the Power go?

    Unbelief. Pride. Lack of true surrender. Fear.

    The Spirit is all around us and dwells inside of us. Our spirit (the eternal part of us) and the Spirit, as a New Creation, are in-formation (as Sweet puts it)…or in communion…and we war against the flesh.

    It is unbelief, pride and fear stemming from our flesh that stops the power at the outlet. We lack the humility to let go and surrender to the Spirit.

    We see the examples of the TB’s and the Benny Hinn’s and we cringe. Those are good arguments from the devil for us to hang on to our throne and not surrender to the Spirit, lest we be “fakers” and “charlatans”…like those examples.

    You have sincere people starving for the Spirit who follow these men and are disappointed when the “power” they have is a false power.

    Motive and the heart also play a part, IMO. Why do you seek a sign? Why do you want a miracle? Is it to “prove” or validate the Faith? Is it for personal gain? To validate “your” ministry? Or is it to give God Glory…to truly point to God’s Power…and not your own.

    The other issue is sin. When we embrace a life of sin, we block the Power.

    Personal holiness, obedience, connects us to the Power. Not self-righteousness, instead self-denial.

    Jesus said if you believe, you can move mountains (kingdoms). I believe it.

  34. Michael says:

    Why I dearly love J.I. Packer…

    The Pentecostal emphasis on life in the Spirit, which became a big thing at the turn of the 20th century, was absolutely right. It was an emphasis that hadn’t been fully grasped by other evangelicals for a long time. The up-front quest for fellowship with God that grabbed the whole of the heart and therefore had emotional overtones and the openness to a recurrence of some of the signs of the Kingdom was right. …

    It’s simply a marvelous work of God that when the Pentecostal version of the gospel has been preached all around the world for the past half-century there has been a tremendous harvest. It’s a wonderful work in our time, which we can set against the decline of Christianity in North America and Western Europe. Most notably in Africa and Asia, Christianity has been roaring ahead through the Pentecostal version of the Christian message and life in the Spirit. I celebrate it and thank God for it. There have been older evangelicals who have set themselves against distinctive Pentecostal emphases as if there’s something wrong with it. I have not lined up with those folk and indeed have argued that their attitude is mistaken.

  35. Michael says:

    Apple,

    That was an excellent post…thank you!

  36. Josh Hamrick says:

    I have to say that tongues, prophecy, and healing have been hi-jacked so much by the Charismatic movement, that I’m not sure we’d recognize if the real thing showed up. I do see the power of God evident in my life and my surroundings, just seemingly in more “natural” ways. Francis Chan addresses this very problem in “Forgotten God”. He talks about how little the church in Acts looks like the church today. How that church was this unstoppable, supernatural force, and how we are so stoppable. I agree with him, but I don’t know what we’re missing, and I don’t know how to get it. I know I cry out to God daily to see his power at work in my church, and I do, but nothing like Acts.

  37. Michael says:

    More Packer;

    “How, theologically, should we evaluate the charismatic movement?

    It claims to be a manifestation of spiritual renewal, but some, convinced that the ‘sign-gifts’ were for the apostolic age only and/or discerning no biblical basis for the norm of two-stage entry into full Christian experience, have been inclined to dismiss it as eccentric, neurotic or even demonic. Scripture, however, yields principles for judging whether professedly Christian movements are God-inspired or not; principles about God’s work, will and ways which the apostles are seen applying in letters like Galatians, Colossians, 2 Peter and 1 John to various supposedly super-spiritual versions of the faith.

    Two basic tests emerge: one credal, one moral.

    The credal test may be formulated from two passages, 1 John 4:2-3 and 1 Corinthians 12:3. The first passage says that any spirit—that is, evidently, anyone claiming to be Spirit- inspired—who fails to confess the incarnation is not of God. The thrust of this fully appears only as we recall that for John the incarnation of God’s Son led on to his sacrificial death for our sins (1:1-2:2, 3:16, 4:8-10), and denial of the former entailed denial of the latter too. The second passage affirms that the Spirit of God leads no one to say ‘cursed (anathema) be Jesus’, but leads men rather to call him Lord (kyrios), which otherwise they could never sincerely do (see 1 Cor. 2:14). This accords with the pervasive New Testament witness that the Holy Spirit in his character as the Spirit of Christ fulfils what we may call a floodlight ministry of enabling sinful men to discern Christ’s glory, and to trust and love him accordingly. So the credal test, for charismatics as for all other professed Christians, is the degree of honour paid by confession, attitude and action to the Son whom God the Father has made Lord.

    The moral test is given by statements such as those of John, that he who truly knows and loves God will show it by keeping his commandments, avoiding all sin and loving his brethren in Christ (cf. 1 John 2:4, 3:9 ff, 17, 24, 4:7-13, 20 f, 5:1-3).

    When we apply these tests to the charismatic movement it becomes plain that God is in it.

    For, whatever threats and perhaps instances of occult and counterfeit spirituality we may think we detect round its periphery (and what movement of revival has ever lacked these things round its periphery?), its main effect everywhere is to promote robust Trinitarian faith, personal fellowship with the divine Saviour and Lord whom we meet in the New Testament, repentance, obedience, and love to fellow-Christians, expressed in ministry of all sorts towards them; plus a zeal for evangelistic outreach which puts the staider sort of churchmen to shame.”

  38. Waytooclose says:

    Michael,
    Gems from Packer… Thanks!

  39. Believe says:

    I have witnessed two Miracles in my life.

    My son was born 5.5 weeks premature and his lungs were not fully developed. The first hours of his young life were dramatic…very touch and go.

    He was swarmed by doctors and nurses…they were frantic. I was completely broken and completely helpless…powerless. I cried out to God for mercy and help.

    He answered my prayer.

    My son is the healthiest most active little monkey there is. He is alive and thriving…and I thank God for him all the time…and love that kid with all the love a human father can muster.

    Could this be explained as a result of modern medicine? Yes, it certainly could…as he is not a unique example of being near death as a premie, only to make a come-back and survive.

    However, I KNOW it was a miracle. God intervened and heard my cry. He is the ultimate giver of life and death…modern medicine is a tool…people live and they die…from the same procedures. God had mercy, He healed my son, and I am grateful.

  40. Believe says:

    Second Miracle:

    I confronted a major sin in my life after being confronted by the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t “caught”…I was crushed by the Holy Spirit…and I repented.

    I had to face the music, so to say. I was sure it would lead to losing everything left that I cared about on this earth. It was fearful.

    I stepped out in Faith and did what I believed the Spirit was telling me to do. It was an unpopular decision.

    I did it anyways.

    God worked a Miracle in my home and brought healing. It shouldn’t have happened, I didn’t “deserve” it, I deserved a much different outcome.

    That, I believe, is a Miracle.

  41. Michael says:

    Packer is knocking my socks off…this is so good.

    “This suggests our next question. What particular features of the charismatic movement call for unambiguous approval when biblically assessed? A dozen suggest themselves at once.

    1) Its stress on personal fellowship with, and devotion to, the living Christ.

    2) Its stress on the need to be filled with the Spirit, and to be living a life which one way or another displays the Spirit’s power.

    3) Its recognition of, and provision for, the necessary emotional dimension—necessary because we are human beings—in apprehending and responding to the love of God in Christ.

    4) Its stress on the need to cultivate an open, ardent, constant, whole-hearted habit of prayer (which, as we saw, is where glossolalia comes in).

    5) Its stress on the need to cherish and express Christian joy in both speech and song.

    6) Its insistence that each Christian be thoroughly involved in the church’s worship; not necessarily by speaking in the assembly (though that kind of participation, when orderly and well done, must surely be approved), but primarily by opening one’s heart to God in worship and seeking to realize for oneself the divine realities about which the church sings, prays and learns from Scripture.

    7) Its concern that all Christians be actively involved in ministry; finding and using their gifts, whatever these prove to be, for others’ welfare.

    8 Its missionary zeal and concern to share Christ.

    9) Its awareness of the potential of groups. Hummel, with his eyes on the USA, writes of ‘the hundreds of interdenominational fellowship meetings in homes throughout the country. They convene weekly for worship and praise, Bible study, mutual encouragement and exercise of gifts as the Holy Spirit manifests them. These groups supplement the regular services of churches in which the members are usually active. The same is true in England and elsewhere. In a remarkable way the charismatic movement has discovered, or rediscovered, the value of small groups for prayer and ministry.

    10) Its stress on the need for church structures to be flexible enough to allow all gifts within a congregation to be fully used.

    11) Its experiments in community living; in particular, the establishing of extended families composed of nuclear families who unite to fulfil ministries of shelter and support which no nuclear family on its own could manage.

    12) Its cultivation of childlike openness, spontaneity, warmth, and expectancy in relationships with both God and men.”

  42. Waytooclose says:

    Believe,
    Second Miracle:
    Now THAT is a great work of the Holy Spirit. And honestly, isn’t that what all of us should say?
    I’m both convicted and blessed by what you describe here.

    Thanks.

  43. Another Voice says:

    Michael,

    I was keeping my powder dry, wondering if someone was going to mention the work of the Spirit in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world. That was my first thought when reading your post this morning – the Body of Christ is worldwide.

    Sure enough, leave it to Packer to not only mention it, but to EMBRACE as legitimate what is going on in the Church elsewhere around the globe.

  44. Another Voice says:

    Michael, your post at 11:13 AM – don’t those 12 traits sound a lot like Calvary Chapel back in the day?

    Contrast that with the cessationists like MacArthur, who insist on using the most blatant examples of tomfoolery as ‘indicative’ of the fruit of charismatic churches – while ignoring places like Calvary Chapel – despite being a Southern California pastor himself!!

  45. Michael says:

    “Now a balancing question. What charismatic characteristics might impede that corporate maturity in Christ at which New Testament teaching aims? Ten defects of charismatic qualities—defects sometimes observed, at least on the movement’s fringes, and always threatening—call for mention here.

    1) Elitism In any movement in which significant-seeming things go on, the sense of being a spiritual aristocracy, the feeling that ‘we are the people who really count’, always threatens at gut-level, and verbal disclaimers of this syndrome do not always suffice to keep it at bay. Here elitist tendencies are reinforced by the restorationist theology which sees charismatic experience as the New Testament norm for all time and is inevitably judgemental towards non-charismatic Christianity. When you have gone out on a limb, as many have, in order to seek and find something which you now think everyone should be seeking, though many are not, it is hard not to feel superior.

    2) Sectarianism The absorbing intensity of charismatic fellowship, countrywide and worldwide, can produce a damaging insularity whereby charismatics limit themselves to reading charismatic books, hearing charismatic speakers, fellowshipping with other charismatics and backing charismatic causes; and this is the thin end of the sectarian wedge in practice, however firm one’s profession of aiming at catholic unity.

    3) Emotionalism Only a fine line divides healthy emotion from un-healthy emotionalism, and any appealing to or playing on emotion crosses that line every time. Though the white-collar charismatic movement of today is (for cultural rather than theological reasons, it seems) generally calmer than original blue-collar Pentecostalism ever was, its preoccupation with expressing feelings of joy and love makes it vulnerable here. Its warmth and liveliness attract highly emotional and disturbed people to its ranks, and many others find in its ritual emotionalism some relief from strains and pressures in other areas of their lives (marriage, work, finance, etc.). But such sharing in group emotion is a self-indulgent escapist ‘trip’ which must debilitate in the long run. Generally, the movement seems to teeter on the edge of emotional self-indulgence in a decidedly dangerous way.

    4) Anti-intellectualism Charismatic preoccupation with experience observably inhibits the long, hard theological and ethical reflection for which the New Testament letters so plainly call. The result often is naivety and imbalance in handling the biblical revelation; some themes—gifts and ministry in the body of Christ, for instance—being run to death while others, such as eschatology, get neglected. Looking for a prophecy (supposedly, a direct word from God) when difficult issues arise, rather than embracing the hard grind of prayerful study and analysis, is a tendency that sometimes obtrudes; so at other times does a doctrinaire insistence that for Spirit-filled, Bible-reading Christians all problems of faith and conduct will prove to be simple. The charismatic movement has been called ‘an experience seeking a theology’; ‘lacking’ and ‘needing’ would fit, but whether ‘seeking’ is warranted is open to doubt, sometimes anyhow.

    5) Illuminism Sincere but deluded claims to direct divine revelation have been made in the church since the days of the Colossian heretic(s) and the Gnosticizers whose defection called forth 1 John, and since Satan keeps pace with God they will no doubt recur till the Lord returns. At this point the charismatic movement, with its stress on the Spirit’s personal leading, and the revival of revelations via prophecy, is clearly vulnerable. The person with unhealthy ambitions to be a religious leader, dominating a group by giving them the sense that he is closer to God than they are, can easily climb on the charismatic band wagon and find there good-hearted, emotionally dependent folk waiting to be impressed by him; so, too, the opinionated eccentric can easily invoke the Spirit’s direction when he refuses to let his pastor stop him disrupting the congregation with his odd ideas. Living as it does on the edge of illuminism, the movement cannot but have problems here.

    6) ‘Charismania’ This is O’Connor’s word for the habit of mind which measures spiritual health, growth and maturity by the number and impressiveness of people’s gifts, and spiritual power by public charismatic manifestations. The habit is bad, for the principle of judgement is false; and where it operates, real growth and maturity are likely to be retarded.

    7) ‘Super-supernaturalism’ This is my word for that way of affirming the supernatural which exaggerates its discontinuity with the natural. Reacting against ‘flat-tyre’ versions of Christianity which play down the supernatural and do not expect to see God at work, the super-supernaturalist constantly expects miracles of all sorts—striking demonstrations of God’s presence and power—and he is happiest when he thinks he sees God acting contrary to the nature of things, so confounding common sense.34 For God to proceed slowly and by natural means is to him a disappointment, almost a betrayal. But his undervaluing of the natural, regular and ordinary, shows him to be romantically immature, and weak in his grasp of the realities of creation and providence as basic to God’s work of grace. Charismatic thinking tends to treat glossolalia, in which mind and tongue are deliberately and systematically dissociated, as the paradigm case of spiritual activity, and to expect all God’s work in and around his children to involve similar discontinuity with the ordinary regularities of the created world. This makes for super-supernaturalism almost inevitably.

    8 Eudaemonism I use this word for the belief that God means us to spend our time in this fallen world feeling well, and in a state of euphoria based on that fact. Charismatics might deprecate so stark a statement, but the regular and expected projection of euphoria from their platforms and pulpits, plus their standard theology of healing, show that the assumption is there, reflecting and intensifying the ‘now-I-am-happy-all-the-day-and-you-can-be-so-too’ ethos of so much evangelical evangelism since D. L. Moody. Charismatics, picking up the healing emphasis of original restorationist Pentecostalism—an emphasis already strong in ‘holiness’ circles in North America before Pentecostalism arrived—regularly assume that physical disorder and discomfort is not ordinarily God’s beneficent will for his children.On this basis, with paradigmatic appeal to the healings of Jesus and the apostles, plus the claim, founded on Isaiah 53:3-6 and 10 as interpreted in Matthew 8:16 f and 1 Peter 2:24, that there is healing in the atonement, plus reference to Paul’s phrase ‘charismata of healings’ (‘gifts of healings’, AV; ‘healers’, RSV) in 1 Corinthians 12:28, they make supernatural divine healing (which includes, according to testimony, lengthening of legs, straightening of spines and, in South America, filling of teeth) a matter of constant expectation, and look for healing gifts in their leaders almost as a matter of course. But the texts quoted will not bear the weight put upon them, and New Testament references to sickness among Christian leaders that was not supernaturally healed make it plain that good health at all times is not
    God’s will for all believers. Also, the charismatic supposition loses sight of the good that can come in the form of wisdom, patience and acceptance of reality without bitterness when Christians are exposed to the discipline of pain and of remaining unhealed.Moreover, the charismatic supposition creates appalling possibilities of distress when on the basis of it a person seeks healing, fails to find it, and then perhaps is told that the reason lies not in God’s unwillingness or inability to heal, but in his own lack of faith. Without doubting that God can and sometimes does heal supernaturally today, and that healings of various kinds do in fact cluster round some people’s ministries, I judge this expression of the eudaemonist streak in charismatic thought to be a major mistake, and one which makes against Christian maturity in a quite radical way.

    9) Demon-obsession In recovering a sense of the supernaturalness of God, charismatics have grown vividly aware of the reality of supernatural personal evil, and there is no doubt that their development of ‘deliverance’ ministry and the impulse they have given to the renewal of exorcism have been salutary for many. But if all life is seen as a battle with demons in such a way that Satan and his hosts get blamed for bad health, bad thoughts and bad behaviour without reference to physical, psychological and relational factors in the situation, a very unhealthy demonic counterpart of super-supernaturalism is being developed. There is no doubt that this sometimes happens, and that it is a major obstacle to moral and spiritual maturity when it does.

    10) Conformism Group pressure is tyrannical at the best of times, and never more so than when the group in question believes itself to be super-spiritual, and finds the evidence of its members’ spirituality in their power to perform along approved lines. Inevitably, peer pressure to perform (hands raised, hands outstretched, glossolalia, prophecy) is strong in charismatic circles; inevitably, too, the moment one starts living to the group and its expectations rather than to the Lord one is enmeshed in a new legalistic bondage, whereby from yet another angle Christian maturity is threatened.

    Yet, having said all this, it is well to remind ourselves that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. No type of Christian spirituality is free from dangers, weaknesses and threats to maturity arising from its very strengths, and it is not as if Christian maturity (which includes all-round liveliness of response to God, as well as sobriety of judgement) were overwhelmingly visible in non-charismatic circles today. In matters of this kind it is the easiest thing in the world to dilate on specks in my brother’s eye and to ignore logs in my own; so we had better move quietly on.

  46. DavidM says:

    May I offer a thought? I recently spent 2 weeks in India among Christians in various parts of that country. I can tell you that the power IS there, in ways that we seldom ever see in the US. The faith of the believers there was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife. It didn’t matter whether we were in the north or south, we saw this everywhere. We heard verified testimonies of healings, miracles, and more. I wondered what the difference was between my usual experience and what is going on there. I observed something that I seldom see here. They (the people with whom I spent time) fast on a regular basis. Their understanding of devotion and prayer are at a level that I hardly ever see or experience. Besides fasting, another observation is that many of them have very little, and aren’t the poor of this world rich in faith? And, finally, many of them are suffering persecution and are faced with it all the time. Not so much in the large cities (well, it seems like all the cities are large!) but away from Delhi and Mumbai, there are threats and beatings. This drives them to a deeper devotion, to praying, to fasting for the sake of winning others to Christ.

    Now, this was hardly my first visit to India, nor to Christians abroad. But, more than ever, I saw the differences between their faith and mine. Theirs is born of fasting and prayer, of having to trust God for virtually everything, of facing persecution, things that are not a part of my world. As they have prayer meetings for hours, we (American Christians) seem to have endless discussions about whether we can drink, who is emergent, blah, blah, blah. Through the lens of what I saw there, it all seems so shallow and meaningless.

    Michael, I appreciate the question as to where the power has gone. I don’t have an answer as to where it is here in the US, but I know what I experienced and what changes I need to make in my life in order to accommodate that power.

  47. Michael says:

    AV,

    I’m having a personal revival meeting at the moment… 🙂

    Let me say again that I thank God for Dr. Packer and I thank AV for making me dig to find this stuff.

  48. Another Voice says:

    Michael..and your 11:22 sounds a lot like Calvary Chapel today!

  49. Michael says:

    DavidM,

    You have hit a lick here…as I read the Gospels the power is combined with prayer and persecution…the 3 Ps if you will.

    Great insights David.

  50. Michael says:

    AV,

    I have maintained for some time that the Jesus movement of the sixties and seventies was the last real revival we’ve seen.

    I might be preaching to myself today, but I’m thinking there’s some truths here that we all need to hear and embrace.

  51. Believe says:

    David M…wow, great post.

  52. bishopdave says:

    I wonder what the disconnect is also. And those NT churches with all theri power we often as messed up if not more so than we are.
    Did they experience Pentecost power in Corinth? Yes, but how obedient and divided were they? We’re studying Thessalonians on Wed nights; how does a smaller, non-mega church on the Greek coast become known throughout the world (when there was no internet, media, etc), yet Paul says that from them sounded forth the gospel all over.

  53. Not Alone says:

    DavidM, you are a blessed man to have seen and been apart of that. How cool for you. I hope it stains you for good.

  54. DavidM says:

    NA, good way of putting it, “stained”. Yeah, I know these experiences do fade, so I want to kind of strike while the iron’s hot and make lasting changes now, not later when it’s all too far in the rear view mirror.

  55. Tim Graham says:

    The power never left, but the times of His visitation in power for large groups of people are under His sovereign control.

    I encourage you to read Jonathan Edwards “Distinguishing Mark of a Work of the Spirit of God” for an account of an outpouring of power in the Great Awakening.

    And for a recent example of an individual act of God’s power, take a look at the testimony posted at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-shore/i-a-rabid-anti-christian_b_551799.html .

    The Lord moves in power in individual ways every day, but the great moves are at times of His choosing — and those times have little to do with man’s devising or choosing. All we can do is pray for them and eagerly desire them.

  56. Isaiah56:1 says:

    I am so moved by this discussion.
    I spent years in ministry, working out plans and projects and programs, and barely even noticing that there wasn’t any power other than what we could muster up from our own strength.
    Then I got desperate for a real, deep, intimate relationship with the Lord. I had to re-learn how to pray (with a lot more patience and listening and less check lists) and I had to invite the Holy Spirit to work -even though my church culture/experience made that very uncomfortable.
    Anyways, I’m still pretty much a spiritual toddler in it all, but I’m amazed by the difference in what the Holy Spirit will do, and the miracles that come. What I am starting to see is that most of the miracles are not meant for public discussion, and aren’t broadcast loudly, but strengthen the believers in their faith as they see the God who cares for them answer them when they call out to Him in fatih.

  57. Isaiah56:1 says:

    and I want to go visit Oden’s fellowship!

  58. Michael says:

    Great comments from the whole community today…really appreciate all of you.

  59. Em says:

    i just noticed the “share” icon thingie in the lower left corner of the threads – there have been a few times where i have selected & copied whole threads because i just had to share what you all were commenting – is this capability new or am i really, really sloooow 😳

  60. Michael says:

    Em,

    It’s brand new…Linnea found that for us.

  61. Not Alone says:

    DavidM “Yeah, I know these experiences do fade, so I want to kind of strike while the iron’s hot and make lasting changes now, not later when it’s all too far in the rear view mirror.”

    I like that, strike while the iron is hot. When I was younger I wanted to be an over seas missionary and did a few months at a time down in Mexico to get a taste. I love it, but each time I cam back to school and got caught up in the day to day grind, the passion would fade. I missed my calling, I think. Those were the best times in my life.

    Please everyone, no lectures on how I can do that right here in my own community. I know that and I do it. But it’s not the same. Like you said David, you got that experience in another country, probably because their culture is different in regards to their passion for the Lord and their faith and ability to express that.

  62. ODM says:

    MAYBE THE POWER LEFT ( 1 SAMUEL 4:21 ) WHEN THE WORD OF GOD WAS REPLACED FOR SWEETS’ NEW AGE ECUMENICISM, THE RELIGION OF THE FALSE PROPHET.
    THE APOSTASY IS COMING 2 THESS. 2:3
    FOR THEY PERSECUTED THE PROPHETS… MATT. 5:12
    WE WILL CONTINUE TO WRITE OUR BLOGS AND PROPHECY!

  63. Believe says:

    ODM…stick around…engage in a discussion.

  64. DavidM says:

    I think the power left THIS discussion right around 2:18 PM 🙂

  65. Waytooclose says:

    Group,
    I know I’m new here but I’ll put $100.00 on the table that Ted Haggard starts a new church in Colorado Springs within the next 6-9 months.
    After the meeting I just had, this is another reason why we see the power of the Spirit being ‘rare’ in these days. Very sad stuff.

  66. Believe says:

    ODM how do you know for certain that Sweet’s “New Age Ecumenicism” is the “religion of the false prophet”…

    Could that prophecy be related to Islam, rather than Sweet?

  67. bishopdave says:

    Michael, thank you for opening this discussion today. IMHO, one of the most convicting, encouraging, challenging, and messing my theology up all at the same time.

    Poor ODM, see if you open up discussions on your blog it just might turn into something that is actually helpful.

  68. DavidM says:

    Well spoken, bishopdave.

  69. Believe says:

    Could the Son of Perdition…be the 12th Imam?

    Are we missing the forest from the trees with all this Christian in-fighting?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/3642984/Will-the-12th-Imam-cause-war-with-Iran.html

  70. Believe says:

    Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau.

    It is interesting to read up on Ishmael…and the prophecies in the Bible about him and the people descending from him.

    Read how Islam views Abraham and Ishmael…and who their “messiah” to come is (the 12th Imam).

    There are some interesting parallels…between their “messiah” and our “anti-christ”…

    Then watch Walid Shoebat’s End of Days teachings.

  71. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I didn’t read the comments – so perhaps someone already said this. The power is still there in full force. Look at all the new Christians each week at churches. Look at the great work being done in Asia, and Africa.

    Again, if we are looking for the spectacular or we are looking within, we will be sorely disappointed every time. But if we look to Jesus, He is the one who does it all – and He has not slowed down or stopped since the beginning. Praise God for His power!

  72. Erunner says:

    I attended Oden’s church during the time of his son’s injury. I remember the details quite well.

    I got to know Oden quite well during my time at Poiema and would like to offer a few observations. Many folks came to Poiema specifically for the worship and freely spoke about how they weren’t experiencing worship like this at their own church.

    Poiema is by no means a fancy church (at least the facility on Magnolia and Adams.) Worship was Oden on guitar, Pedro on keyboards and flute, Ray on the sit on drum! and Bill singing. I don’t believe they practiced much, if at all, and the music wasn’t prepared ahead of time. Oden played whatever came to him.

    We were never told to stand up and you would think with such a powerful time of worship folks would be on their feet and hands raised. It wasn’t like that at all. I loved the freedom to stand when I wanted to instead of how worship is so often done. Worship was not a few songs and then on to the message. I would say they were close to the same in length of time.

    Once during the time of worship I had what turned out to be a vision. I spoke with Oden about it and I stepped out in faith based on what I saw. It just happened without me seeking it and that is how I see God’s spirit moving at Poiema. He moves on His schedule without people getting all worked up. And things happen.

    Oden has openly shared about the miracle of his son and of other miracles that have taken place through his ministry. Yet at the same time he shared as his son went through a life threatening illness without being 100% healed from the get go. He has also shared when friends have died without being healed. He doesn’t go to extremes but shares what’s going on good or bad.

    Finally. Having known Oden I know he is a man of great character and humility. I believe this is one reason why God’s spirit is so free to move during service and in Oden’s life outside of church. Also… Oden gets my humor and that must count for something!

    I am convinced there would be people who would show up at Poiema and dismiss it based on appearances.That is a huge mistake.

  73. Everstudy says:

    I had my back supernaturally healed once. Threw it out on a Friday night at work, and on Sunday after the service I asked one of the assistant pastors to anoint me with oil and pray for me. As he prayed I felt my back loosen up to the point where I could stand up straight with no pain at all.

    Still amazes me.

    Everstudy (going back to Everstudy since there’s another David M here now… don’t want to confuse myself :-). )

  74. deadmanwalking says:

    When Why and how the Holy Spirit works is a mystery to me.
    I had two hernias that needed surgery, but I had a lung that kept collapsing, so they scheduled me to do surgery on my lung first. Then 6 week later I went back to have the surgery on the hernias and they were healed.. I would have preferred my lung being healed, but God has His reasons.

    In our church we saw many healing. One Cancer with the medical test to back it up and a heart condition with records to back that one up to.. Funny thing was the guy with the heart condition came in and asked for prayer, he had severe leg injury from Vietnam and I prayed for his leg — later he told me he wanted to pray for his heart condition, but felt awkward for me when I just rushed into praying for his leg.. He brought the X-rays of his enlarged heart before we prayed and a his normal heart after.

    The power is still in the church. Now most of the people we prayed for didn’t get healed, but many did…. The thing is you have to ask.

  75. odenfong says:

    Erunner, thank you for your kind words! We miss you and Mrs. Erunner a lot!

    In all honesty, I have no idea why God heals some and not others. One of my sons was healed miraculously in one night. Another son was not healed even when literally tens of thousands of people all over the world were praying for him.

    I prayed fervently for one son for a night and he was healed. I prayed fervently day and night for two months for my infant son and he still had to have a liver transplant.

    I’ve prayed for people with cancer,AIDs and other illnesses and afflictions and they have been healed immediately. I’ve prayed for countless people who were not healed and some died not long after I prayed for them!

    I prayed for a women who didn’t believe she could be healed and didn’t believe that God would heal her. I was so upset with her attitude that I didn’t believe God would heal her, but she was healed in spite of our unbelief!

    It’s a mystery to me why God does what He does. I only know that God doesn’t want me to stop praying or believing in faith that He will do what I ask Him to do (for others). Even if my prayers fail a hundred times in a row, God still wants me to pray, believing, nothing wavering.

    I have learned not to be discouraged when God doesn’t heal someone. This way, I can continue to pray, believing that the person I pray for will be healed. It’s the only way that works for me.

  76. Em says:

    i get chills hearing Pastors Oden’s and DM’s miracles… that said, healings are a dicey thing to attach one’s faith to IMO … if i or someone has prayed for healing and healing occurs, i’ll praise and thank God. that’s a given
    however, on some level every human’s mental/emotional outlook interacts with our physical – that mysterious wiring diagram that is interdependent and seems to control every cell from our brain down to our toes and all that miraculous goo in between – a good outlook, even among the unredeemed, heals to a remarkable degree
    just sayin … again

  77. Sarah says:

    Everyone…make sure to go by the thread on Nancy’s mom and lift this family.

  78. james tiberius kirk says:

    Michael,
    You and your ruthlessness is why I keep coming back.

    My safeguard is what the Word says, and where Jesus leads…..ALWAYS go there, no matter what labels people try to put on you.

    On the “verification” and “proof” issue, I can’t get much further than John 9; we may think Jesus receives the glory when it’s “proven”, but scripture often implies the opposite.

    Shoooot, they wanted to murder Lazarus AFTER he was raised from the dead.

    Thanks for an insightful discussion.

    and ODM: THANKS FOR SHOUTING YOUR POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  79. Lutheran says:

    WE WILL CONTINUE TO WRITE OUR BLOGS AND PROPHECY!

    USING WORDS PROPERLY AND LEARNING HOW TO SPELL MIGHT NOT HURT, EITHER!!!

  80. David Sloane says:

    Holy Spirit ignite us!

  81. Captain Kevin says:

    Wow, those quotes by Packer are incredible! Thank you Michael.

  82. brian says:

    Lutheran LOL

  83. brian says:

    I would say my “power” went do to fear, major doubt, and a persistent cynicism. Though I have never personally seen a healing of any type in the physical I have seen great comfort for hurting people in the hands of God. Me being one of those hurting people.

  84. deadmanwalking says:

    One thing I’ve seen that I know is wrong is when people try to conjure up the Holy Spirit.
    Remember the Holy Spirit is God. He is not to be manipulated by any of our antics.

    We Worship and adore God. Now to try to get God to do anything, but because He is God.

    We pray we don’t conjure

    and brian — not even fear will keep Jesus from blessing you. Nothing shall separate us from the Love of God. And Nothing means nothing

  85. deadmanwalking says:

    that should read—– NOT to try to get God to do anything but because he is God

  86. Dansk says:

    Just got this in an email from a friend of longstanding,. Sounds like “power” to me!

    In Manila we held a conference for many pastors & church leadership teams. We focused on the power Prophetic Art has to release the Kingdom into all areas of life, with interactive activations in drama, painting & drawing, music, singing, dance, healing, words of knowledge & prophecy. Then we took the several hundred attendees out into the city to apply these new skills on Treasure Hunts and doing dramas, music, and children’s ministry in the parks. They stepped out and saw many saved, healed and delivered. We saw blind eyes & deaf ears opened, back braces, walkers and canes discarded, and hundreds of powerful miracles. Sunday we split up and attended 5 different churches, going out into those communities to see remarkable healing and salvation. That night we held a healing crusade for over 800 people where 300 to 400 came forward to experience His Love, salvation and life transforming power. Hundreds were healed. As I spoke, I actually got to see the swirling cloud of His Glory as it descended on whole groups of people and they were healed! Three severe cases got up out of wheelchairs and walked! Eyes and ears were opened! One woman came to me with severe, intense pain in her ovaries & spine. I stepped back and saw a “spear” protruding out of her belly, which went through her ovaries and lodged in her spine. I told her, and asked if I could pull it out. When I did she gasped and her hands shot up and all the pain left her. We broke off a curse placed against her child bearing and motherhood. She twirled around, dancing and shouting “Hallelujah!” in total freedom.

  87. deadmanwalking says:

    The people of the Philippines are a very gracious people aren’t they?

  88. deadmanwalking says:

    I had dropped acid so many times all I can do is estimate it to be over 200 times, probably closer to 300. A few times I took massive doses. It left me psychotic. I was in my own world. It the hell in earth. I knew I would never recover and feared spending my life in an institution. My thinking was so fragmented that I could not make a sandwich for myself, let alone performed any complex task needed to survive out on my own. My official diagnosis was Paranoid schizoid psychotic. I was aware enough to know that I could never drop acid again, so I told my friend I was leaving California and heading for the Northwest. He talked me into staying for labor day, so I did. We hitchhiked up into the mountains to Big Bear. during our stay, a guy walked by held out his hand with two hits of acid, and I took one. Then realized what I did, I don’t know how I know, but I knew if my heart of hearts I had no chance of ever coming down from that hellish trip. in the midst of the trip something my older sister told me when I was a little kid came back to me, she said “if you are ever in really serious trouble call on the name of Jesus” So I did. In the twinkling of an eye I was down from the acid, my mind was healed as well as my body, and in my heart the knowledge of the Gospel was just in my mind. I had no Christian termology, it was a pure transference of termonology. The concept was just in my mind. I know I was separated from God by sin (I didn’t know what sin really was) I knew I needed to find others who believed in Jesus and hang out with them, I knew I needed to teach myself how to read and read the Bible, and I knew that God would hear my prayers.

    The rest of this story would take a small book, so I will go fast forward to a day I was talking with my friend as we were trying to figure out how to find people who believed in Jesus. (in those days people who looked like me were not welcomed in many churches. As we talked we saw a friend we had not seen in a while and started to tell him what we were trying to figure out. He told us of a Church in Costa Mesa where it was filled with freaks, so we all set a time to go and we went to pick him up, and he told us he had invited some Sisters to come along. Now to me a Sister was a Nun. I felt really ill at ease, but if this is what it took to follow the one to saved me so be it, I was so releived when the three girls who jumped in the car with us were hippy chicks. One was still in 11th grade, but in time (a couple of years) She became my wife. So I met Jesus and my wife the same week.

    How can I not believe in Miracles?
    How can I not follow Him?
    How can I not give Him my all?

  89. deadmanwalking says:

    BTW all I knew about Christianity before that I got from the Movie Ben Hur. I knew nothing, no one shared the gospel with me there was no human agency involved at all. Jesus left the 99 and came for me.

  90. Linnea says:

    John, what a beautiful testimony. Our God truly is an awesome God.

  91. Linnea says:

    Michael’s original question was, “where did the power go?”

    I’ve been wrestling with that one in the wilderness these last 5 months and trying to hang on to what seemed like scant hope.

    I love Oswald Chambers and his short, pithy devotionals bring me back to God and to the cross and to truth. In his April 27th entry in My Utmost for His Highest, I was convicted with this:

    “Are you seeking great things for yourself? Have you said ‘Oh Lord, completely fill me with your Holy Spirit?’ If God does not, it is because you are not totally surrendered to Him; there is something you still refuse to do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you– ‘that they may be one just as We are one….’ (John 17:22).”

    In the wilderness, those words gave me hope and direction and reminded me that my role here is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

  92. Babylon's Dread says:

    We have testimonies of healing almost every week. Sometimes they are weak and really sound like someone’s attempt at being ‘included’ we do not embarrass these folk but their testimony falls kind of flat… but always there will be those whose testimony is remarkably clear.

    Last week a man with stomach problems, and no insurance who has been beset by his malady and prevented from his work…he received healing two weeks ago on a Friday night and has been happily working and paying his bills since. I have known this man for a year and he was clearly blessed by this gift.

    Further a man with a shoulder problem was healed the first time I prayed for him … he told me this last week. I was told he has been testifying about it everywhere for years. So he prayed for my wrist(computer/blackberry injury) as he wanted to ‘return the blessing’

    As for deliverance …it is a weekly occurrence in our ministry and it is the most common manifestation of God’s healing. It is easy to do (though sometimes it takes time as Oden said) but demons flee from Christ and any believer who knows who he/she is in Christ can cast them out.

    I have not seen a major healing lately and it troubles me as I have a number of very very ill people in my church and recently a young woman died breaking our hearts.

    God is shaking up the renewal family I walk with, liars are being exposed, false prophets are being embarrassed, false apostles are being shown unworthy to follow. Repentance has found its way into our camp. I am hopeful…but guarded as those who are greedy for gain seem to abound.

    When testimonies are the legal tender of a movement lies and liars cannot be tolerated. Does anyone have a clue why God was so severe with Ananias and wife but seems so patient with us? That befuddles me but I am glad to have my life extended by those mercies.

    Anyway, I was silent on this thread, as I mostly am these days, but I wanted to share a bit, my testimony actually supports both sides… the power is on but not an unbroken endless supply… not in my life. But I continue onward… the limping healer.

    Oh and by the way Ted and Gayle Haggard are going to be at my place this weekend. Their future plans will soon be announced as well.

    Peace to all, Let us not grow weary of doing good.

  93. Captain Kevin says:

    Blessings to you, oh Limping Healer.

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