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206 Responses

  1. Frosted Flake says:

    I have heard so much talk about “beginning in the Spirit but finishing in the flesh” I find it perplexing. Having just read through Galatians again it seems the Person of the Holy Spirit needs to be given a special place in the church. Being sort of a Bapticostal I still wonder what looks like day to day.

  2. Michael says:

    FF,

    I saw the same thing in 1st Corinthians…and I’m wondering the same thing.

  3. Frosted Flake says:

    Lonnie Frisbee’s key message, that led to the “revivalistic” manifestations of the early Jesus Movement and later on in the Vineyard, was that the Holy Spirit was God as well as the Father and Son but was not treated as such. He would then invite the Spirit to come and then sometimes explosive events would take place often leading to things very difficult to explain. The best explanation being John Wimber’s coined expression “Power Encounter.”
    It left me with more questions than answers. But still……

  4. I don’t buy it, we’ve well established that we aren’t really sure what the Trinity really is in human terms we can understand. We can’t get around the fact the bible says no one has seen God at any time, yet Jesus is the God who appeared to humans in the NT and the Holy Spirit seems to be a separate person in the God-head, yet one in the same as Jesus and God, depending on the particular position one takes to avoid a contradiction.

  5. I feel sorry for folks stuck on the Transformation Gospel treadmill. Spoke at length with a group of folks last night, one ex-Mormon, one Catholic one who goes to a Crossroads (Tom Stipe’s brand of Christianity).

    Ironically, the Mormon the Catholic and the Crossroads person were all very similar in a lot of areas. It was about how sincere they were in trying to be righteous and not sin vs. what appears to be the real Gospel message: we all suck and only Jesus can pay the debt.

    These folks were so neurotic about trying to be better and if they could just be more consistent in being good* they would be assured of heaven.

    I was brutally honest and appealed to real Grace, if it’s all true.

  6. Michael says:

    FF,

    I have a problem with the idea that God needs an invitation…but there still seems to be a lack of supernatural manifestations today that have occurred during numerous revivals.
    This puzzles me greatly…

  7. The irony was, we were having these God Discussions over drinks and the fundies were very embarrassed when the subject turned to God etc. It made me laugh. Poor people, so neurotic about being human and so guilt-driven.

  8. Michael and Frosty, I’m with you both on that.

  9. It was fun refereeing a Trinity vs. Godhead debate between the Mormon vs. the Catholic and the Crossroads folks. The back-and-forth was so full of irony and I simply pointed out the specific scripture and examples that supported BOTH theses.

    The two positions are very very close together and at the end of the discussion, the two fundies had to admit they really didn’t know and didn’t really understand the Trinity like they had been told they did by their leaders/gurus.

  10. Frosted Flake says:

    I think that the subject speaks to the “sermon only” churches so prevalent in our culture and to the place of worship and prayer in our practice.

  11. “but there still seems to be a lack of supernatural manifestations today”

    What more do you want than people getting saved?

    btw – the Holy Spirit has the most prominent place in most CCs. The Dove front and center – replacing the cross that most churches have.

  12. Michael says:

    The interesting insight into my own heart that I had was when I taught about these “gifts of the Spirit” and didn’t bother to stop and wrestle as a church with why we didn’t have any of them…

  13. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I only want what the Bible says we could have and have had in the past…

  14. Frosted Flake says:

    Michael,
    The “calling down” of the Spirit became part of the “magical” thinking of the Vineyard and in my opinion led to its demise. However, the honest questions remain.

  15. Michael says:

    To be blunt, I don’t think the Reformed, Lutherans, and general cessationists are being true to Scripture in this area.
    I see nothing in Scripture to indicate that the sign gifts must cease.

  16. Empirical Observation proves the Sign Gifts have ceased, not a Scriptural argument.

  17. Michael says:

    FF,

    You open another can of worms…what’s the difference between magical thinking and faith that moves mountains?

  18. Inglorious, not all fundagelicals are like the guys with whom you had drinks. I’m a fundy, and while I do try to be “better,” I know that it has absolutely nothing to do with my salvation. I believe in a transformational Gospel, that God Himself transforms each believer according to His will, and that looks different from person to person. It’s not my job to transform anyone, including myself.

    I might be embarassed to have a drink with you too, but for entirely different reasons. 😉

  19. Frosted Flake says:

    Michael,
    Your #12 is exactly what I am talking about. It is sobering to me.

  20. “You open another can of worms…what’s the difference between magical thinking and faith that moves mountains?”

    Results.

  21. Frosted Flake says:

    No one seemed to have a subject in mind so I found my can opener. It is also something on my heart this week.

  22. Michael says:

    FF,

    I’m wondering if part of the issue is that the early church often had to rely on God because they had nothing else to rely on.
    Thus, they put the effort into seeking Him for healing and wisdom and provision…but that doesn’t explain why He shows up in revivals.

  23. God gets the credit when something perceivably goes right* or when something is considered a blessing*…yet it’s always the devil or we didn’t have enough faith* or we sinned too much etc when it goes wrong*.

  24. “I see nothing in Scripture to indicate that the sign gifts must cease.”

    I don’t know that they have ceased. However, if they were happening for a reason in the 1st century church, perhaps that need is no longer there.

    In otherwords, if the need pops up, perhaps they will be manifest again.

    I believe that God does special things in areas where the word is preached, but there are no Bibles in their language or the preachers are new converts also. This is why you hear the stories in remote area.

    But will raising anyone from the dead convince a single American that Jesus is God? (btw, the answer is NO.)

  25. Revivals* are a myth.

    Calvary Chapel has been trying to manufacture one ever since the Jesus Movement (which wasn’t a revival in the true sense).

  26. Michael says:

    FF,

    I’m not even sure I know how to change things in the service if I wanted to…how do we seek these things?

  27. “In otherwords, if the need pops up, perhaps they will be manifest again.”

    The need is more than over with Skepticism on the rise.

    Do some NT miracles, it’s needed more now than at any time in human history.

  28. more than “ever” not over

  29. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I have no interest whatsoever in trying to “prove” the faith to unbelievers.
    I have huge interest in myself and my church having a deeper trust in God.

  30. This conversation must be of the Holy Spirit. I am teaching tomorrow in Hebrews chapter 2 and i am just now working on the 4th verse – and I will make the case just as I stated above in my #24 – to a room full of Lutherans.

    v. 4 “while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will”

  31. Revivals* are a function of two things: Good persuasion combined with times of doubt and crisis in Society.

  32. London says:

    The spirit shows up, but we don’t recognize him cause we are looking for him to show up, behave and communicate just like he did 2000 years ago.
    That’s like expecting to have the same conversation with an old intimate friend every time you see him.

  33. Frosted Flake says:

    IB,
    I am glad you have all of this figured out. I actually agree, in part, with your 31 but much of this remains a mystery to me. The social crisis piece is definitely a component overlooked by many.

  34. My opinion is that Pentecost was the one true Revival (defined as the Spirit really moving). Ever since, it’s more a function of what I described above.

    Why? Evidence. Real healings, real tongues (real languages being spoken, not gibberish), real manifestations of the Supernatural (assumed).

    I agree with John MacArthur because of the evidence (or lack of). I wish the Charismatic reports of Supernatural were true, but there is absolutely nothing that has withstood scrutiny from those outside the bubble.

  35. Michael says:

    I might be wrong…but I see 1 Corinthians as an X-ray of a specific early church.
    In that church it was normative to see manifestations of the Holy Spirit in all of the gifts.
    It’s not normative in mine.
    That is the disconnect that I desperately want to resolve.

  36. The Skeptics of Jesus’s day and Paul’s day could not disagree with the real Supernatural manifestations (or so it is reported in the bible).

    Different story today. It’s always “take my word for it” miracles with no evident proof that withstands scrutiny.

  37. Michael says:

    London,

    I don’t think we’re talking about communications as much as actions.
    It’s entirely possible in my mind that sick people who went to church in those days believed that they would leave church healed after prayer in the Body.
    Today, we’d cut you a check to see a doctor.

  38. Hello Lord,

    It is me, one of the ones that you bestow your Mercy and Grace upon regularly. I do not deserve your kindness and yet I am empty without it. There is nothing but goodness within Your presence, there is nothing but void outside of it. You “know” everything, You “have” everything, and You “are” everything. Your needlessness of anything is eternal. What could I possible give to You of the slightest value? I cannot even give You myself, because You created me and I do not belong to me, I already belong to You. There is only one thing I can think of that You do not get enough of and that is the praise that You deserve. I freely give to You all my praise and worship. I am embarrassed to ask You for more, but please give me the strength to praise you more, even to the extent of being a Martyr for You should it ever come to that point. To be sentenced to death for praising You would give my life the most meaning. Happy Sabbath Lord and thank you for being You.

  39. We begin every Divine Worship Service with the invocation

    Pastor pronounces – In the Name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Spirit.
    And we all give a hearty Amen

    We do it for 2 purposes –
    1.) not to invite the Triune God in, but to recognize that he IS present
    2.) to let anyone who walked in off the street and was expecting anything else – to let them know that what they hear from that point is in the name of and from the Holy Trinity.

  40. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I like that…

  41. Frosted Flake says:

    In my opinion the Jesus Movement and the Vineyard (not so much a movement) started with simple people crying out to God for His mercy. The sick and the sinner desperate for a Savior. I am not trying get religious up in here, I’m just reporting. God answered those cries, He always does. The decline came when “sophistication” entered the equation. Power, money, politics, products and, in the Vineyards case, false prophets by the hoards.

  42. Michael says:

    IG,

    How many people came to faith at the miraculous feeding of the five thousand?
    It’s in John 6…
    There is no correlation between receiving saving faith and witnessing miracles.

  43. “I wish the Charismatic reports of Supernatural were true, but there is absolutely nothing that has withstood scrutiny from those outside the bubble.”

    What is more Super Naturally true than by just hearing the word of God, lives are changed, people going from death to life?

  44. London says:

    I Dunno.
    Im skeptical about healings, yet I think it’s imperative we lay hands on people and pray for them.
    I do know from experience that God shows up. For me, it’s never loud or showy, but in a way that’s a surprise that catches me off guard.
    Can’t explain it

  45. Michael says:

    FF,

    I hear you on why the Spirit left the house, so to speak…but how do we get Him back?

  46. Michael,
    I could be wrong and missing the passages, but I don’t know of any healings that were done in the churches outside of it being directly by Jesus or the Apostles.

    I know people were getting sick and dying for not following what the Apostles had taught and left with them – but I don’t know of the healings.

  47. Michael says:

    I used imprecise theological terms in that question, but it was to make a point.

  48. Michael says:

    MLD,
    I think the implication in these passages is that these gifts were being manifested in the Body…remember, Paul wasn’t present, he was writing to correct and inform them.

    “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”
    (1 Corinthians 12:4–11 ESV)

    “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.”
    (1 Corinthians 12:27–31 ESV)

  49. “I hear you on why the Spirit left the house, so to speak…but how do we get Him back?”

    That’s part of the problem with Selective Fundamentalism and the Transformation Gospel. You think it’s a quid pro quo.

  50. London says:

    Funny. I don’t think he left the house at all. I see evidence of his presence all the time in the midweek service I go to when I’m in town, the group of friends I have in the town I’m working in etc…
    But like MLD days, it’s in lives that are changed more than some big showy thing.
    He’s more subtle than we give him credit for being I think.
    We want signs, but I think he operates that way in the norm.
    Maybe it’s like that old adage about news. It’s not news if it happens every day.
    Maybe the “signs” made the book only because they were out of the ordinary. A one off…

  51. London says:

    …don’t think he operates that way in the norm…
    I meant to say

  52. Michael says:

    London,

    The greatest gift is love and we have that in wonderful proportion.
    I do not discount that one iota.
    However, as I said, the Bible seems to speak to this as a normative expectation.

  53. If it’s true, I see it in the fact we live about a zillion times better today than we ever did 2,000 years ago and even 200 years ago and so on. But, nothing good comes from science and progress (it is assumed) and God only works through the whacky supernatural that no longer manifests itself empirically for some reason.

  54. Frosted Flake says:

    Michael,
    This is going so sound crazy but I think it may be about returning to that sense of longing for God and “desperation” for His intervention in the lives of our prodigal children, our heathen schools and communities, our post-Christian country and our churches that sucketh yea verily. There, I said it!

  55. I see modern medicine as miraculous, but explainable since knowledge has increased. It’s not the Charismatic wet dream, but it results in the same things as the NT, namely: Folks get healed all the time.

  56. Michael says:

    As I already noted, I used imprecise language to make a point.
    The Holy Spirit is present whenever the people of God are gathered and His word proclaimed.

  57. London says:

    I wasn’t talking about Love at all. I mean something more tangible, but less showy than what I think people normally expect when they say they want the spirit to show up.
    I also think we’re talking past each other, and really I have nothing but vague thoughts that make no sense to anyone but me, and then only as thoughts, to offer up.
    I’ll bow out and just read later.

  58. Michael says:

    FF,

    You might be right…and if you are, then the way back home begins with repentance for not being desperate in the first place…among other things.

  59. Frosted Flake says:

    London,
    You are making all the sense in the world. Your musings about this subject is the pathway to understanding the ways of the Spirit. I’m really quite serious.

  60. Frosted Flake says:

    Michael,
    Now your cooking with peanut oil!

  61. Michael says:

    FF,

    Let me throw another curve out here.
    I have a church full of folks suffering from chronic illness…beginning with the pastor. 🙂
    Now, I only anoint with oil and pray for them in the direst of circumstances.
    I could easily make it a weekly practice and in doing so I believe I would be more faithful to the Scriptures.
    How do you do that…with a church of 500…or 5000?
    Is it possible that we have limited the work of The Holy Spirit because it’s logistically difficult and inconvenient?

  62. Babylon's Dread says:

    I really should get in this discussion but I really should not.
    Revival is just a word for something that was dead returning to life.
    I think the Jesus People movement was a revival.
    I think Chuck Smith was offended by human reactions to the Spirit and he quenched them
    John Wimber stepped into that hole but then he too got offended, by KC and by Toronto and John himself quenched the Spirit too. People get offended by human reactions, by the human instrument, by unorthodox methods. At every point when someone gets offended they say NO MORE. Or at least they are tempted to do so.

    To say that miracles do not happen “outside the charismatic bubble” is no different than saying they do not exist inside the evangelical bubble.

    Frankly the threshold of proof is not one that can be won very easily.

    If you come to my church and ask for a show of hands of those who have had healing in response to prayer and at least half the hands will raise. Others of us have surgery like ME.

    I will go soon but I thought I would weigh in with my own tongue.(pen)

    Gibberish Dread

  63. ” then the way back home begins with repentance for not being desperate in the first place…among other things.”

    I believed that at one time. I tested it out through a radical repentance. Made little to no difference other than reaping and sowing principle.

  64. Michael says:

    BD,

    You should be leading this discussion…

  65. Dread, as much as I’d like to believe in the supernatural miracles, I bet you a bottle of Ron Zacapa rum that every single one of those miracles* are easily debunked and explainable scientifically.

  66. God gets the credit when something perceivably goes right* or when something is considered a blessing*…yet it’s always the devil or we didn’t have enough faith* or we sinned too much etc when it goes wrong*.

    Another broadbrush.

  67. No way to explain turning water into wine or walking on water or calling down fire from heaven etc. Show me one of those.

  68. “Is it possible that we have limited the work of The Holy Spirit because it’s logistically difficult and inconvenient?” Yes!

  69. Frosted Flake says:

    We deal with the same problem. Our Baby Boomers are all deteriorating at a world speed record. I believe in prayer for the sick and suffering because even if they are not healed they are loved. I also believe in medicine and a back surgery that was nothing short of miraculous for me. We have special after church times set aside for such prayer needs. That way everybody answers an “all hands on deck” literally to pray as long as it takes into the afternoon to love on the hurting. We approach baptism in the same way. It’s just an idea but it works.

  70. Michael says:

    FF,

    “even if they are not healed, they are loved”… amen and amen.

  71. Even the Catholics have ceased seeing new Lourdes Miracles because they couldn’t support the claims any longer due to our knowledge of modern science and medicine etc.

  72. Michael says:

    I may die without seeing a verifiable miracle.
    But I will die in faith, believing that because Jesus was raised from the dead, I will be too.
    That faith…is miracle enough.

  73. Frosted Flake says:

    BD,
    Michaels #64. I agree because you and I have already had this discussion.

  74. PP Vet says:

    “John Wimber stepped into that hole but then he too got offended, by KC and by Toronto and John himself quenched the Spirit too.”

    Awesome. Sometimes, even here at PP, we find truth.

  75. “I tested it out through a radical repentance.” Umm…well… (claps hand over mouth/closes lid of laptop).

  76. Truth seems to be that life is a miracle* and our intellect is a miracle* and our innate sense of spirituality is a miracle* etc.

    If Revelation is true, then we’ll eventually see some real whacky supernatural stuff as it is asserted the Anti-Christ will come on the scene (if it is a literal man) and do some real OT and NT supernatural miracles that will satisfy even the skeptics.

  77. Babs,
    When you say, “at least half the hands will raise.” are you saying that everyone will raise one hand – or some raise 2 hands and an equal number neither? 😉

  78. “That faith…is miracle enough.”

    Agreed, those are the only type of miracles I see in our age. The OT and NT stuff just doesn’t happen in our era for some reason.

  79. IB,
    “the Anti-Christ will come on the scene ”

    Hmmm, I have read it several times, I do not see anyone called the Anti Christ in the book of Revelation.

  80. The two Beasts of Revelation, specific references to individuals calling down fire from heaven in the presence of men etc and other supernatural wonders.

  81. For G says:

    I rarely find God when I fret over finding him. He always finds me when I’m least expecting it.

    your results may vary

  82. But, I agree MLD, it’s highly speculative and much like Genesis, probably not literal but metaphorical and anthropomorphic etc.

  83. London says:

    Ooops

  84. MLD, I don’t see the Gohead being called the “Trinity” in the bible either, just sayin’.

  85. PP Vet says:

    I defended Todd Bentley 5 years ago, against the absurd and mean-spirited attacks by the troglodytes here. I stand up for just about anybody.

    Now that he is more successful than ever, I feel obligated to stick that up your noses. 🙂

    Look, I know some of that criticism was well-intended and came from hearts that saw all too much showmanship and self-promotion etc. over the years.

    But hey, come on out, evil speakers and cynics. You know who you are.

  86. London says:

    You may miss what your looking for, because you think it will look like something else

  87. London says:

    “Successful”???
    Ha! Successfully at fooling people who are more desperate for a sign of God than for God himself maybe.

  88. IB,
    The point is that no one is ever called the Anti Christ. People are called anti christ – but not one individual.

    Now there is someone called the man of sin – but I always apply that to myself.

  89. Michael says:

    PP Vet,

    With all due respect I believed then and I believe now, that Todd Bentley is a devil from hell.
    That’s as clean a statement as I can make about him on a public blog.

  90. Frosted Flake says:

    Success is a dangerous measurement of character.

  91. Todd Bentley is being human and he’s good at exploiting human nature. Hard to hate on a talent working his biz. More power* to him. It’s not his fault folks are gullible and stupid.

  92. London says:

    It’s his fault he’s an ass.

  93. MLD, no argument here, like I said above it’s a misnomer much like the “Trinity” but still seems to say there will be some individual humans who will call down fire from heaven and do some OT/NT supernatural miracles for reals unlike the Benny Hinn and Todd Bentley theatrics. But, it could all be metaphor as you assert.

  94. London says:

    PP Vet is taking the mick

  95. PP Vet says:

    Three types of ministries:

    1. A phony and knows it. Needs to get saved. Avoid this person.

    2. Wants to serve God, but has issues. Support this ministry at your own risk.

    3. Established, proven ministry. May not be right for you personally, but in general, recommended.

    I put Todd in Category 2. There is just not enough evidence yet to confirm he is in Category 1.

  96. Michael says:

    When you’re willing to exploit a young child with cancer and the childs desperate, grieving mother for your show, you are evil incarnate.
    That pig will fry in deepest hell if he continues without repentance.

  97. London says:

    4. Is too delusional to know he’s a phony . Avoid at all costs.

    If he’s not 1 he’s 4

  98. Passing by says:

    A friend that I trust very much told me that his uncle who was a preacher/evangelist had developed a progressive degenerative disease that bound him to a wheelchair for years.

    He told me the uncle was preaching one night and quoted Romans 8:11 and as soon as he spoke the verse out loud, the Holy Spirit quickened his body and he stood up and was physically healed of that ailment for the rest of his life which was many years.

  99. I think Todd Bentley is sincere to some degree or other. He’s probably a mix of showman who starts believing his own hype and opportunist who likes the spotlight, sex, fame and money.

  100. A lot is self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I can have faith* and tell you I had a Vision* and a Calling* from God…and I could go out and make it happen and construct a man kingdom and following and then tout all the Blessing* etc that validates my faith*. Seen it a zillion times.

  101. London says:

    So anyway, back to the Holy Spirit discussion…

  102. PP Vet says:

    FYI, I would have trouble defending the late Reverend Ike, Peter Popoff, and Bob Larson from being called Category 1 (or possibly L’s Category 4).

    I would object to, for example, Benny Hinn being placed there.

    I am perhaps, in general, too kind.

  103. I set out to learn some stuff and see if real Miracles (no asterisk) happen. I didn’t use my knowledge of persuasion and rhetoric to win over folks and schmooze them and politic them into doing the right thing. I wanted God to move and act without my tinkering.

    I learned a ton. I could’ve PR’d my way and got my Miracle* (most likely). Probably no such thing today. You can have your Miracles*, go out and make them happen and believe a result is a Miracle* and you’ve got your Miracle*.

  104. mrtundraman says:

    Someone wrote – “The point is that no one is ever called the Anti Christ. People are called anti christ – but not one individual.”

    “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists;”

    Sounds like there was an individual who they were expecting called antichrist. No indication if they were wrong in that expectation but John does expand it beyond a single individual. Still there’s nothing in the text that denies there will be a particular antichrist and if anything seems to agree that there will be one (an argument from silence I understand).

  105. Miracles* and the Supernatural seem to be a function of belief and delusion. If you believe it strong enough, it is your Miracle* even if science has an explanation for it. If you believe strong enough that you are special and Anointed* it is your anointing, if you believe strong enough that you have particular Gift* etc then you have it, in your own mind. No empirical validation required.

    In that sense, there are Miracles* and their are GIfts* etc.

  106. Frosted Flake says:

    IB,
    If ministry and mission is all man made where do you place the Great Commission in your rant? Are any of us legit? I have heard of broad brushing but you are painting my world with a freight train dipped in black lacquer .

  107. PP Vet says:

    This guy TB humbled himself, sat quietly under authority, and went around to apologize face-to-face to those he had disappointed.

    He is not smart enough to be that good a fraud.

    To place the “Fraud” label too quickly, or too slowly, is wrong. It does a disservice to the seriousness of the battle and the challenge to become people of discernment.

  108. FF:

    “16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””

    1. “some doubted”…these were freakin’ Disciples right there in the presence of Jesus (it is assumed) so how much more us schmucks today 2,000 years removed.

    2. Who did Jesus give the “authority” to? Can anyone have this “authority” from Jesus?

    3. “Obey everything I have commanded you” <— good luck with that.

    4. "I am with you always" <— As in the Holy Spirit? As in Jesus? In what sense?

  109. “He is not smart enough to be that good a fraud.”

    The Unwitting Idiot defense, LOL.

  110. MTM,
    If the same John wrote the epistles and Revelation, he missed a great opportunity to tie it together.
    I just like to get on people,especially dispensationalist who go around doing whole series on THE Anti Christ in Revelation, and he just isn’t their. Now the beast may just be one more manifestation of the anti christs John spoke of – as is the office of the Popery. 🙂

  111. “4. “I am with you always” <— As in the Holy Spirit? As in Jesus? In what sense?"

    In the bread and wine – Jesus is always present with The Church – somewhere in the world.

  112. Maybe Chuck Smith is right about his Gnostic theories of the resurrection and who is the “real” us. Maybe the truths and miracles and the supernatural exists outside our finite perceivable-with-our-senses Universe and Natural Physical Law.

    Lack of the Supernatural in our present Universe and existence, lack of verifiability of Genesis and Revelation…all speak to the possibility it is all metaphor and meant to be spiritual truths and a Kingdom that is not of this world and imperceivable to the natural man.

  113. Frosted Flake says:

    IB,
    So you are saying that human beings cannot be authorized and sent by the spirit into the mission fields and ministry and that Jesus cannot be with us in this day and age. If this is true, hell has come early for all of us.

  114. I’ve been reading a lot of Chuck Smith Sr. again lately…and he’s got a very interesting Belief System…again, not as orthodox as some seem to think. However, I don’t know that it’s wrong, some of it is pretty fascinating stuff. The man has wrestled with some of the big questions.

  115. London says:

    Can’t apply the fraud label fast or often enough when it comes to that clown as far as I’m concerned

  116. FF, no, that’s not what I said, but it is interesting that that’s your interpretation of what I communicated.

  117. Scott2 says:

    It seems that the men who have seen the miracles of God are men who prayed about it for a long time, were prepared by God to receive them, and developed a faith that rose above the doubt, cynicism, and unbelief that is rampant in the church today. You only have to look at the persecuted church to see real power, miracles, and healing.

    Michael, try reading about the church behind the Iron Curtain. What about the turn of the century revivalists?

    In America we really don’t much “need”God, except when our lives go sideways. I don’t think that we much fear him. The friendship of The Lord is for those who fear Him. I think it’s in that friendship that we see the miracles of God. But we don’t fear God. We are too in love with our system and how we do church to much fear God.

    His grace is amazing.

  118. Scott2’s position puts the emphasis on man mustering up enough faith and praying harder etc. Yikes.

  119. Supposedly, the level of faith* required is the size of a “mustard seed”

  120. Religious Person: “I had a miracle!”

    Scientist: “No, you didn’t, you had a remission which is common and happens with a predictable percentage of these sorts of cases”

    Religious Person: “NO! It was a MIRACLE! I BELIEVE!”

    Well, the person had their Miracle* and as long as they believe it, it was a miracle for them in their mind.

  121. London says:

    Religious person. I had a miracle in my life.

    No religious person. No you didn’t because I don’t believe in miracles.

  122. Passing by says:

    Wow, every thread seems to be turned into an anti-CC rant by the fellow with sunglasses.

    Back to lurking…

  123. That tired refrain again? Very telling….

  124. London, it does become very definitional.

    One man’s miracle is another man’s coincidence or reaping and sowing etc.

    That’s why I’d like to see someone call down fire from heaven or walk on water so as to dispel any doubt as to the Supernaturalness of a miracle.

  125. Frosted Flake says:

    London,
    I’m with you on this one. Having faith in the belief that there is no faith seems like a crazy maker to me. The defininition of “crazy” is …… find out what doesn’t work and keep doing it.

  126. London says:

    Be careful what you wish for Alex

  127. I think there’s Faith. It’s described as “Childlike” and “Foolish” and “not of this world” and “mustard seed” etc.

    Certainly not the logical and solid concrete myth that some build it up to be.

  128. Please respect my attempt at anonymity as G has asked us all to do with his, etc.

  129. Can a man produce a miracle? No.
    Are miracles real? Yes.
    Does God do miracles today? Yes.
    Can God do a miracle after it has been requested by a man? Yes.
    Does God always do a miracle after it has been requested by a man? No.
    Can a man prove a miracle happened? No. (If a man could prove a miracle, by definition it is not a miracle.)
    Does a miracle have to be proven by man to actually be a miracle? No.
    Can a miracle be defined by logic?
    Yes. Is a miracle always defined by logic? No.
    Can I give at least one small evidence of what a miracle is? Yes. Anything and everything that exist came from nothing.
    Can God prove Himself to us? Yes.
    Does God have to prove Himself to us? No.
    Does God punish us for sin? No. (Punishment is the “result” of sin.)
    Does God send us to Heaven for “not” sinning? No. (People going to Heaven, is the result of people following Jesus Christ).
    Is there tangible proof that God exists? Yes. The historical fact of Jesus and it historically being witnessed by the disciples until they were all martyred because of their denial to stop witnessing.

  130. London says:

    Regardless of what you call yourself ion here the warning remains the same.
    You may find someday getting the arrogance and chip on your shoulder knocked off you by God and someone smarter than you.
    It’s not a fun journey, and you may have to eat those words you so flippantly throw around here like god and the world owes you anything.
    He doesn’t and they don’t.
    Hoping to save you some of the pain of learning that lesson whilst doubting you’ll even bother to listen.

  131. Michael says:

    You can’t argue a skeptic into faith.
    It’s a waste of time.
    Faith is a supernatural gift from God…so pray God grant the skeptic faith and find something productive to do with your time.

  132. Meow goes the kitty….hissssss.

  133. “Faith is a supernatural gift from God”

    Yes, agreed, there’s your “miracle”

  134. “It’s not a fun journey, and you may have to eat those words you so flippantly throw around here like god and the world owes you anything.”

    He doesn’t and they don’t. Just callin’ it like it seems to be.

  135. London says:

    Fair enough Michael. I think it’s a game and not skeptical but ill honor your wishes and let it go.
    Take care

  136. Michael says:

    I’m doing the wrap on the book of 1st Corinthians tomorrow.
    Having soaked up the book for a couple of months now, and thinking through the comments here…we may be missing the dramatic gifts of God because we are ignoring the precepts of God that should accompany them.
    I wonder…if we hated division and idolatry of men as God does…and strove for love and the inclusion of all the Body in the life of the church…if maybe then we would see those gifts again?

  137. Were the supernatural Gifts present during the Church Fathers post-Apostles and Pre-Reformation?

  138. Michael says:

    Maybe the one with the “gift of healing’ is in the 15th row and hasn’t spoken in years…maybe.
    Maybe the one with the ‘gift of miracles” is sitting in the overflow room…
    Maybe…

  139. “With the opening of the New Covenant, miracles served to announce the coming of the Savior; during His public life on earth Jesus appealed to His works of power in confirmation of His divinity; and before He ascended into heaven He gave to His Church the power to do the same miraculous works which He did, as a pledge of His assistance and a proof of her authority.”

    OK, show me some real Miracles and that validates your Authority.

  140. Right now, Science and Reason are doing some miraculous things in Medicine and in Technology. Maybe their enlightenment is the real Authority and God has left the conservatives long ago.

  141. You know what factors have helped “heal the sick” and “help the poor” etc? Modern Medicine, Science and Technology…light years ahead of Religion.

  142. erunner says:

    Alex has re-entered the building. 🙂

  143. Michael, re: your 136
    The Corinthians had division and idolatry of men, but they still had the gifts.

  144. Michael says:

    Derek,

    I understand that…but Paul wrote a stern corrective which may or may not have been heeded.
    I’m simply wondering if our celebrity culture and purposeful division is part of the issue…it may not be, but it’s one of the pieces to look at.

  145. Michael says:

    e,

    You must refer to him by his monicker now…or else he will undoubtedly react by refusing to use anyone else’s.

  146. Just saying, the gifts were there before the corrective. I don’t think gifts depend on our….hmm…looking for the right term, maybe present holiness. Not saying, I know the answer to the discussion on the thread today. It is something I have pondered before. Never convinced by the arguments I have heard given for cessationism though.

  147. Babylon's Dread says:

    IB I suspect you would not believe because you do not believe. I doubt there is a threshold that would cause you to believe.

  148. Nonnie says:

    I believe there are miracles that happen today that are never acknowledged. I am not the same person I was before Christ. I have seen marriages healed, lives made new, provisions of food or funds “out of the blue.

    I have experienced 1 instant healing of my ankle that was either broken or the ligaments torn. It was swollen red, and I was in agony. On the way to the hospital we stopped at the church as the men were having a prayer meeting and they would pray for the sick. I went in on crutches that my neighbour, a nurse had loaned me. She insisted I go to hospital. My husband wanted to go to the church first. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything more than a little prayer and sympathy. As they prayed for me I had this thought run through my head, “move your ankle.” And there was no way I was going to move it as any movement caused excruciating pain. agin the thought, “move your ankle”. So finally I did and it didn’t hurt…I moved it more……no pain! I moved more and stood up, without the crutches! Embarrassingly, I was literally walking and leaping and praising God. I had been in agony for about 6 hours and immediately it was healed.

    Now I have been a Chtistian for 36 years and that is the only instant healing I have experienced, But I know what happened and so I will pray for others in their need and trust The Lord to do His good will.

  149. Babylon's Dread says:

    I prayed last week for a lady with vertigo. She wrote to tell me that it is completely gone. I get reports like that almost daily certainly weekly. In one day I saw a woman healed of a migraine, another of vertigo (instantly that time) another, strangely of a hangover. I prayed for her in public and her symptoms left. She was mystified. That was just one day a few weeks ago.

    Today I received a report from one of our missionaries. Here I will show you….”Now amongst the men there was one who had been deaf since he was a child, his name is Uban (oo-bahn). He had been old enough to learn how to speak, but then lost his hearing. If someone where to turn a chain saw on near his head, it would sound to him like a mosquito. Several people of influence in the community testified to the genuineness of his inability to hear. The men and translators prayed over him, and God poured out His love and opened the man’s ears! When they were merely whispering, Uban could hear them and responded perfectly! One of the translators went into a nearby room with the man, and tears just flowed from Uban’s eyes as he was overwhelmed with the reality that he could now HEAR! Glory to God!”

    My days are filled with these stories and all the while people get sick and die. Hmmm just like when Jesus was around. People should be honest enough to wonder if Jesus is healing and they are unwilling or unable to believe.

    Still we rejoice in the KINGDOM and it’s increase … he did not say rejoice because you will go to heaven but because your names are written there. Adieu

    Once Skeptical Dread

  150. “IB I suspect you would not believe because you do not believe. I doubt there is a threshold that would cause you to believe.”

    No, I have a level of belief in the Supernatural, I just think it is just that, Supernatural and outside of this dimension. I think what you experience is explainable within natural physical law and coincidence or psychosomatic.

    I would believe in Supernatural miracles (defined as miracles that violate natural physical laws of this Universe) if I saw a true Supernatural miracle in this existence.

  151. I think the Christian Cessationists are correct, as they have the Empirical evidence on their side. I would love to be proved wrong. Just one empirically verifiable Supernatural miracle that violates natural physical law would do it.

    Walk on water, call down fire from heaven, turn some water into wine, start speaking coherently in a language you don’t know (that is a legitimate known language) etc. I’ve heard anecdotal testimonies, I just can’t imagine why not one single Supernatural miracle has failed to meet the skeptics standard.

    Again, the miracles performed in the OT and NT were (assuming presuppositional framework) so Supernatural, even the skeptics of that day (the Pharisees, etc) couldn’t deny the miracles. Why not today? Why? Because they are Miracles* and not true Supernatural manifestations in this dimension that can be observed by natural man as violating natural physical law.

  152. Michael says:

    I have witnessed a miraculous healing…one.
    My faith is in the One who did it, not in what He did.

  153. IB,
    “defined as miracles that violate natural physical laws of this Universe”

    Why do you get to define? Why is it not a miracle just because a sick person came in, we anointed with oil as we prayed and he left not sick. Why is that not a miracle – it used all physical components – the sick guy – other guys – laying on of hands – oil and prayer.

  154. I think we see Miracles* every day. They just aren’t the walking on water, water into wine, fire from heaven kind. They are explainable medical anomalies and largely emotional hysterics that have a psychosomatic physical reality…but aren’t Supernatural, they are natural psychological results from really thinking/believing/hoping something is true and that something really happened.

    The mind is a powerful thing. Often, reality is what you believe it to be.

  155. IB,
    I saw Chris Angel walk on water once – I bet you still deny it as a miracle.

    So, actually, you are saying nothing.

  156. Babylon's Dread says:

    IB you have just placed yourself squarely in the category of those for whom Jesus would not perform.

    Those of us who unashamedly pursue the Giver and his gifts are not troubled by the need of others for proof. As for Christian cessationists if the scriptures count as empirical they do not have all the evidence.

    I have recently read a book http://www.amazon.com/Testing-Prayer-Candy-Gunther-Brown/dp/0674064674 which might interest you. Both for its academic credibility and for the fact that it documents how difficult it is to meet your empirical criterion. Remember my friend the world of Jesus was not dominated by scientific unbelievers but it had empiricist nonetheless. Frankly that group was never satisfied.

    Still Dr Brown has written impressively on Harvard Press.

  157. I’ll probably drop in on Dread one day and check it out. I hope it’s real and I hope I see some real Supernatural miracles or even better, experience one. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will. I think I’ll see a lot of sincere folks trying their best to believe in stuff and I’ll see a lot of psychosomatically explained Miracles* of good intention and sincere belief.

  158. “IB you have just placed yourself squarely in the category of those for whom Jesus would not perform.”

    I knew that was coming 🙂

    Not so, Doubting Thomas, the 11 Disciples had “doubt” and were in the presence of Jesus, Peter doubted and denied Christ after seeing so much etc etc.

    The bible says the real miracles were to “prove” Christ’s deity and the “authority” of the Apostles etc.

    Same thing…

  159. The bible said Jesus did miracles to validate His deity and His authority and Jesus provided the evidence Thomas needed to believe He was resurrected in the flesh etc.

    What you present is a paradox. The bible states many times that Jesus and the Apostles and the OT Prophets did miracles on purpose to prove they were from God to those who doubted.

  160. Babylon's Dread says:

    IB more likely what you will see is abandoned worship, biblical preaching, and love. We fumble as much as anyone on all accounts. But we do pray for the sick and seek God with fervor not so much for supernatural intervention as his presence in time and space.

  161. Again, I desperately want a real miracle. It is not lack of wanting it to happen…it is lack of it happening.

  162. mrtundraman says:

    “You can’t argue a skeptic into faith.
    It’s a waste of time.”

    i was a skeptic argued into faith.

  163. Chris Angel walking on water. So IB, does this change your mind?

  164. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

    that up there is in the bible attributed to Jesus…

  165. Michael says:

    IG,

    I know how you feel…I’ve been praying for a thread not dominated by endless repetition of the same theme by one guy and it hasn’t happened yet.

  166. “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”

    “So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.”

    “I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.”

    “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”

    So, I’m told by the bible that “signs, wonders and miracles” validate a true Apostle…and then I’m told not to look for signs and wonders and miracles to believe them.

    That up there is called a Paradox and contradiction.

  167. They’re legit questions and they’re on topic. You simply can’t give a good answer and can’t handle the tension of what appears to be true.

  168. So IB, I show you a guy walking on water as you requested and you make no comment?

    As I said, you will just deny any miracle you see.

    Jesus handled this in Luke 16:19-30 ending with;
    27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers[g]—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

    IB, Jesus was talking to you … hey, that’s a miracle.

  169. MLD, I believe that Jesus walked on the water and turned the water into wine.

    I don’t think those types of Supernatural miracles happen today, if so prove me wrong by showing me one….

  170. ..and don’t trot out the bread and wine…as that is a Gnostic miracle if you believe it’s a miracle.

    Did Jesus turn the water into water?

  171. I recently got a glimpse of God’s providence in action. I have been blessed to have this happen several times in life and it always leaves me feeling blessed.
    I never get to see it all, just the small glimpse behind the scene that shows God working. Does it mean that God has a “wonderful plan for my life”, which in popular parlance is not much better than a prosperity gospel message? No, I have no idea how it will all work out.
    But thankful to God, for these times where he lets me see Him in action.
    Michael is right though, “My faith is in the One who did it, not in what He did.”

  172. Michael says:

    Derek,

    That is what most of us get…and it is enough.

  173. MLD, I’m assuming you were joking around and didn’t really think Chriss Angel has some sort of evil demonic powers that violate natural physical law…or at least I hope you’re not that stupid.

  174. IB, that’s the way that the Masked Magian had to do it – but not Criss Angel. 🙂

  175. London says:

    Back to where we started.
    People desperate for miracles instead ioc desperate for God whether or not he performs a miracle (as we so arrogantly decide to define he must).
    That’s the problem Michael first posed. Why the Spirit seems to be lacking. We seek his “show” more than his presence

  176. IGB says:

    “(as we so arrogantly decide to define he must).”

    The bible says Jesus Christ said He had to perform a miracle so folks would believe. If you don’t like the premise, take it up with Jesus 😉

  177. IGB says:

    “I know how you feel…I’ve been praying for a thread not dominated by endless repetition of the same theme by one guy and it hasn’t happened yet.”

    LOL, maybe you need more faith or maybe you need to pray harder 🙂

  178. Are spiritual gifts solely to prove Jesus to unbelievers? No.
    It appears they are mainly for edification of the church.

  179. SInce they are gifts, are we dependent on anything we do to receive them? Or are they part of the grace of God?

  180. Sort of thinking to myself on the last ones…

  181. IGB says:

    I think that last question by DT is pretty profound. Are they bestowed and given or are they sought after and earned through quid pro quo? Maybe a bit of both?

  182. The gifts are given to the church – not to the individuals.

  183. MLD, I would say both church and individual, but for the purpose of building up the church and not for the individual to puff himself up.

  184. erunner says:

    When I developed my anxiety disorder my world was turned upside down. I had no clue what was happening to me and the panic attacks felt as if I was being held by my ankles over the side of a cliff. It didn’t make sense and in my pride I believed it wasn’t fair. Why should I suffer in such a way while no one else was afflicted like I was. (Or so I thought.)

    All I wanted was to get better and I looked everywhere for the quick fix. Self help books that I thought would outline the steps to my healing were scattered throughout the house. Praying and repenting for all sin, real or imagined, was constant.

    As I look back the idea of Thy will be done was somewhere I didn’t want to go as the idea that didn’t include a supernatural healing was something I couldn’t and wouldn’t face.

    To this day my gut instinct is to trust my own understanding when things happen. Being conformed into His image is not supposed to be easy. Learning to be thankful in all circumstances is a lifelong journey.

    I imagine many of us are closer to the chasing of the gifts and the quick fixes than we care to admit.

    I become ANGRY when I see those who would exploit others who are desperate for the supernatural to pad their pockets and elevate their name. But I do believe in the gifts and their operation for today. I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

  185. Derek, I think what I was saying is that individuals get used by the gifting given to the church. The gift is permanent in the church – not the individual.

  186. Gotcha, as I thought through it, I figured that was what you meant.

  187. david sloane says:

    Michael@#6 sparked some thoughts and memories while lurking. I have read all of the post above with interest.

    A group of men and my self had gone out to the desert one weekend a month consistently for a few decades. On our retreats we desired more then what we were currently getting at church.

    We found that there were a few things that we did collectively that would indeed ‘usher’ in the manifestation of Holy Spirit most times.

    One was to repent and humble our selves before the Lord starting out on Saturday morning. Then we would all go out in different directions by ourselves and wait upon the Lord, read the Word, or pray all day out there in the still quiet of the desert places.

    Then we reassembled late afternoon and would get settled at our camp site before dark and eat dinner. After dinner we would gather together and worship. We would worship until Holy Spirit manifested Himself to all of us. At that point we would start to prophesy and share words of knowledge with one another.

    Then we would take turns standing in the center of the encircled men. Each man present laid his hands on the person standing in the center of the circle as one by one the men of God shared words of wisdom, knowledge, prophecy or correction with the person after anointing him with oil.

    Everyone shared that while in the center of the circle the presence of Almighty God impacted them deeply. Everyone gave the testimony of having a deep sense of peace and an awareness of Holy Spirit after being prayed over in the center by the other men present.

    We refined our “setting of the table” before the Lord to usher in His presence over the years. We found that Repentance, worship, and ministering to one another did indeed usher in the presence of the Lord for us out there in the desert places.

    And there were times that God answered our cry of, “Come Holy Spirit, come.” We found that if we did nothing and expected nothing, we got nothing. We learned that we ‘set the pace’ by our faith or lack of faith. I observed this fact for decades in men of God.

    As for miracles, there were many supernatural miracles and unexplainable events that to this day can only be attributed to acts of God.

    By Sunday morning all of us were inspired and experiencing a deeper level of perceived spirituality. While in this state we again worshiped the Lord and prayed over one another after Sunday breakfast. It was more refined ministry with deeper focus and accuracy then Saturday nights ministering.

    I did notice that there were some people who seemed closed and unable to enter in with us over the years. These people would leave the desert just as they had come, no change in spirituality or experience.

    I asked Lonnie Frisbee about this once. His answer was simple and straight to the point.

    “There are three kinds of people. One kind comes to a service like a tea cup that is upside down. They do not worship or pray before or on the way to the service. They are expecting nothing and get nothing. Holy Spirit shows up and spills over them. They, like the upside down cup, can contain nothing and therefore leave with nothing like they came. They don’t even know that God has manifested His presence in the service.

    Another is like a tea cup on it’s side. Holy Spirit shows up they experience him during the service but leave with nothing inside because like the tea cup on it’s side what ever they experience of God goes in and slips right out. They leave the service with nothing.

    Another is like a tea cup that is upright. They, prior to the service, worship and pray with an expectancy to have a meeting with the Lord. They receive of the Lord and take with them what they receive and are able to spill on to others what they received of the Lord in the service like an upright tea cup that is full. They contain and share…they walk away fully satisfied”

    I experienced the original CCCM happening in the days of my youth and my early adult years as well as the early Vineyard years. There were initially many unexplained miracles and supernatural things that took place in both camps. They diminished as the tea cups fell on their sides and eventually became upside down…the rest is indeed history repeated.

    Moves of God tend to only last about ten years and then God steps over them to start a new move wherein the old move resists the new move.

    Wonder where the new move will appear and when?

    “Get under the spout where the glory comes out!”
    Lonnie Frisbee quote.

  188. I can find nowhere in scripture that suggests that gifts are dependent on anything we do. So, maybe trying to find out what we are doing wrong is the wrong way of seeing it.

    I don’t come from a tradition that encourages practice of the gifts.
    While growing up, when I did see people practice gifts, it was weird to me and turned me off. Seemed to be no order to it, like Paul preached in 1 Corinthians.
    As I grew older I have often wished that I would grow more towards the point where I would wish to experience these things, but the old habits are hard to break.
    All I can say is, thank God for chapter 13, which makes me realize that love is greater.
    God never needs to prove himself to me.

  189. mrtundraman says:

    Someone wrote – “The gifts are given to the church – not to the individuals.”

    “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”

    “For unto one is given… ”

    That’s not one church, it’s one person. The gifts are given TO individuals FOR the church.

  190. MLD, sorry misread your 186. I actually agree with MTM there.

  191. PP Vet says:

    DS#188, awesome stuff!

  192. And there you go – reading the scripture that way gives you the Moses model – it’s the individual’s gift and not a gift to the church as a whole that has been given the gifts.

    I can’t go to the church to receive the benefits of the gifts – I have to go to the individual.

  193. In the context of 1 Corinthians, it seems that gifts are exercised, by individuals, when the local church is corporately gathered.
    I don’t know about you, MLD, but I wouldn’t want my hand to chew my food.

  194. Xenia says:

    Христóсъ воскрéсе!

  195. He is risen indeed!

  196. I could actually figure out Christ, because I had to learn cyrillic letters while in Bosnia. Figured out what the message must be due to Orthodox Easter. Google translated it, but it didn’t work very well.

  197. david sloane says:

    The Lord Jesus Christ did give ministry gifts.

    Ephesians 4:11
    And HE GAVE some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.

    For what purpose did He give these ministry gifts?

    Ephesians 4:12
    For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for edifying of the body of Christ.

    For how long did He give the ministry gifts?

    Ephesians 4:13 (Caps for emphasis not shouting)
    TILL WE ALL COME in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the son of god, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, UNTO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST.

    These ministry gifts are Christ’s own provision for the continual need for ministry in His church until He comes for His Church.

    God hath set some in the Church. There is a divine call.

    i Corinthians 12:27,28
    Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular. AND GOD HATH SET SOME IN THE CHURCH, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    Ephesians 4:11 says “Jesus gave.” This passage says “God set.”

    God sets ministry gifts in the Church- not man.

    The ministry gifts are people- people who are called of God. You can not make yourself a ministry gift.

    1. Philip is called an evangelist.
    2. Peter is called an apostle.
    3. Paul is called a prophet and a teacher first, and later an apostle.
    4. Other people in the New Testament are called ministry gifts.

    These people (ministry gifts) whom God calls, He equips with spiritual gifts.
    These ministries are not based on natural gifts, but on spiritual gifts, supernatural gifts. Not realizing this results in the Church and the ministry getting away from the supernatural into the natural.

    When a person is born again, God has in mind what He called them to do. With the new birth, one is equipped with certain spiritual talents to equip them to stand wherever they are set in the Body of Christ. Being filled with the Holy spirit enhances that.

    Be open to God and invite the Spirit of god to manifest Himself among us in the various and the varied ministries that he set in the Church.

    Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch CERTAIN PROPHETS AND TEACHERS; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen…

    Teachers and teaching hold a well-defined and important place in the New Testament. One who is a teacher without being a pastor (i.e., one who does not have the oversight of the flock) usually has a roving ministry among the churches such as some do here that come to this blog.

    The teaching gift is a divine gift. We see it on this blog a lot from those who visit and from Michael.

  198. david sloane says:

    Paul describes the teaching ministry as watering.

    I Corinthians 3:6-9
    I have planted, APOLLOS WATERED; but God gave the increase. So neither is he that planteth any thing, NEITHER HE THAT WATERETH; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth AND HE THAT WATERETH are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are labourers together with God: YE ARE GOD’S HUSBANDRY (garden)…

  199. david sloane says:

    Many a work of God has been ruined because the watering process wasn’t there to encourage people to cleave to the Lord and to become a beautiful garden for the Lord.

    When the watering process- that is, the teaching of the Word of God- is by a spiritual gift because one is called and endowed to teach, it leaves people refreshed and revived, just as watering a plant leaves it revived and fresh.

    If teaching does not leave people refreshed, it simply is not in the power of the
    Spirit.

    Apollos was a teacher. It was said of him, “He helped them much.”

    Acts 18:27
    And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; who, when he was come, HELPED THEM MUCH WHICH HAD BELIEVED THROUGH GRACE.

    These people had already believed through grace- they were already saved. In exercising this teaching gift, Apollos helped them much.

    Divisions can be caused by unbelief and hardness of heart, even when teaching is in the power of the Spirit.

    Under the ministry of Jesus this happened. They would not accept His teaching. On one occasion the Bible says, “From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.” (John 6:66).

    A true teacher should shun causing divisions as he shuns the plaque.

    However, we cannot compromise on the fundamental principles of the doctrine of Christ.

    In Hebrews 6:1,2 we have the fundamental principles of the doctrine of
    Christ. These things are fundamental and cannot be compromised:

    A. repentance from dead works
    B. faith toward God
    C. the doctrine of baptisms
    D. laying on of hands
    E. resurrection of the dead
    F. eternal judgment

    Other things are not fundamental and you do not want to create division.

    Use wisdom.

    The work of the teacher is to build up- not tear down.

    1. Christ gave teachers for the edifying (building up) of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:11, 12)

    2. To edify means “to build up.” He did not give teachers to divide the Body.

    a. If you are seeing something that is causing division- even though it is truth- you can back off from it.

    b. Paul himself said to the Church at Corinth and to the Hebrew Christians, in effect, “There are some things I would like to tell you, but you couldn’t bear it, so I’m just not going to tell you.

    He still loved them. But they were babies. They needed to grow.

  200. brian says:

    I had a very long diatribe basically I want to know God exists and I have prayed for help in that area, in the very same prayer I have repented for the vile sin, and it is a vile sin. It shows my heathen spiritual state and why I should pray God take His holy wrath on me. I crossed the line. I needed. That is never, not ever been a reality. The true follower of God should never need, including God. They move on, they get over it and above all they shut up.

    My point, is really simple. It is not good news for the vast majority of humanity basically 99.99999999999999999999% it is not good news. What we ask, please stop calling it that. I mean really that is not much to ask.

  201. Nonnie says:

    I love the line from an old song: “That which I feared most is that which is most precious to me now.” Make your own application.

  202. mrtundraman says:

    It’s not so complicated…

    The gifts are given TO individuals FOR the church.

  203. mrtundraman says:

    Luk 10:9

    And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

  204. brian says:

    http://youtu.be/mEOqxibhCxU

    Can we at least that this is psychotic, not that the preacher is psychotic, that would do a disservice to people who struggle with psychotic episodes. People have thoughts, they are a function of the brain, when you dream these are functions of the brain organizing experiences. It does it rather messy. Also can we agree the 18 month old babies do not wish to Slaughter their parents. Having known 18 year olds who had the cognitive ability of an 18 month old child. None of them were violent, not one.

    Of course a child is self centered that is what you want, go read some books on child development. So we move past the massive categorical errors, which are wider then the grand canyon. Um infants do not hate anyone, that is just a bald face lie. Let me translate it is a bald face nutcase LIE. Grow up. Oh and as leprosy, Mr. Washer we have interventions for leprosy, yes the fine people should, take that person to a hospital. Leprosy is an bacteria Mycobacterium leprae it is not some magic voodoo abracadabra of some wrathful “deity”. We have answers to that we really do they are not perfect but they work for thousands of people who have found relief. The rest of that rant, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. We get that, God hates us and we hate Him. I dont hate God, the God of scripture I dont hate him. I do doubt the party line because it has been proven, wrong, massively wrong. The people I work with are not some evil contemptible group of Satan worshiper, they are people who overcame horrid disabilities and found joy in this world and hope for joy in the next.

    I get sick of this passive aggressive rantings by true believers. This excuses us from doing something now, it excuses us from so much. It is a very weak view of life, it really is. One thing I guarantee, no one on this forum lives in this apologetic, we just dont. We go to doctors, we put on our seat belts, we cross on the green. We live in a world of probabilities and we demand our theology is in absolutes. It does not work and it drives many of us nuts.

  205. brian said, “One thing I guarantee, no one on this forum lives in this apologetic, we just dont. We go to doctors, we put on our seat belts, we cross on the green. We live in a world of probabilities and we demand our theology is in absolutes. It does not work and it drives many of us nuts.”

    AMEN in as big of letters as it will let me type.

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