44 Comments

Senseless tragedy: Another victim of charismatic Pentecostalism.

Pastor Randy Wolford of West Virginia dies after being bitten by a rattlesnake that he was handling during a Pentecostal service.

“Vicie Haywood, mother of Pastor Randy ‘Mack’ Wolford, strokes her son’s feet as the pastor lies on the couch at his mother-in-law’s home near Bluefield, W.Va. Wolford was bitten by a rattlesnake during a Sunday worship service. He was pronounced dead early the next morning at the Bluefield Regional Medical Center.”

Source: The Washington Post

44 comments on “Senseless tragedy: Another victim of charismatic Pentecostalism.

  1. Change the sect and this headline could be written for any and every religious group. Senseless tragedy happens in every sect including reformed, sovereign grace, and reformed Baptist churches. Granted they don’t handle snakes…. Your headline is careless and shows a lack of understanding of non-cessationist sects. Charismatics and Pentecostals are separate and unique sects. I will leave it to you to do your homework so you will understand the difference between a charismatic and Pentecostal.

  2. And his daddy dies the same way in 1983. Why do these people handle snakes but not scorpions, nor drink poison? If God was promising to protect them from snake bites, why not the other dangers listed?

    Sad indeed, when Christ is not enough and men seek after experience.

  3. Bruce:
    Are you suggesting that this Pentecostal church playing with snakes is not charismatic?

    Manfred:
    I wonder the excuses provided for why people die when bitten. The old, “You didn’t have enough faith so it’s your fault” justification?

  4. I don’t know of any Pentecostal or Charismatic churches (fellowships) that practice snake handling. In fact I would say snake handling is rare in the U.S. The headline for this post seems to group all pentecostals and charismatics into the practice of snake handling. Not true. Are you against Chrisitians who have a Pentecostal or Charismatic influence in their walk with Christ? I am curious why you hold that position?

  5. Alan,
    If you’re referring to those that speak in tongues in total chaos outside the confines of what Paul prescribed, or those who say that speaking in tongues is “evidence of conversion” (many of whom I knew years ago that showed this “evidence” are no longer walking with the Lord so the Spirit must have just left them), or those that place an enormous emphasis on tithing (and I mean ENORMOUS) while the gospel of Jesus Christ is completely absent, or those who are always chasing the next big thing or “wave” of the Holy Spirit, or those who brought us “holy laughter” and “slain in the spirit,” or those who spawn men like Todd Bentley, or those who emphasize experience over Sola Scriptura, or those who place higher emphasis on the “gifts” than the “gift giver,” or those who allow women to pastor their churches, or those who only perform “healings” that cannot be proven all the while ignoring amputees and genuine victims of observable diseases, or those who claim to be able to heal cancer and only perform such unverifiable “healings” in big money crusades yet never darken the door of a children’s cancer ward, or those who claim to have been able to raise the dead yet never actually do this for anyone to see, or those who claim snake bites won’t kill them but die when they’re bitten . . . then I’d have to answer your question in the affirmative.

    However, if you are referring to those who are NOT described above and who genuinely proclaim the gospel of Christ, then I praise God for them, and no, I was not referring to them. I just haven’t had any experiences with the latter yet; my experiences with these groups have been with all of the shenanigans mentioned above (and more).

    Hope that clarifies.

  6. Pilgrim – People playing such games are NOT displaying their faith; they are testing God. And that is sinful and – as this story shows – dangerous.

  7. From my point of view, no one should tempt the Lord as the Lord taught when being tempted by the Devil as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, chapter four. It seems to me that this sort of thing is what the “snake handlers” are doing (tempting God and being foolishly courageous before an audience) all the while there is nothing in Scripture that supports that sort of activity or religious practice?

    The sad reality is you may die being bitten by venomous snakes when you are handling them that sort of way? Also this does not seem to me what God meant when we read about some being bitten by serpents like what we read happened to Paul the Apostle in the book of Acts, chapter 28? First read this from Mark’s Gospel, then:

    Mar 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
    Mar 16:18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    Act 28:3 When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand.
    Act 28:4 When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.”
    Act 28:5 He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.

    I was in Sierra Leone diamond mining some years ago before the last civil war broke out that produced blood diamonds. While going to the region of the country where I had acquired a mining license to diamond mine, as is the custom in all regions of this poor country, when you come to a particular area for the “first” time you are to first present yourself to the “highest” authority to ask permission to do what you come to do, whether mining diamonds or setting up an orphanage or whatever it is you want to do. In this case the highest authority in that place was the paramount chief. So while I was in this particular region where I was going to mine diamonds, as my first duty and responsibility that is customary with these tribal people I was brought before the paramount chief to present myself to him to ask for his permission and blessing from him to mine diamonds in his region, bearing gifts to give him to honor his office among his people. During this time when I was being presented to and introduced to the paramount chief a young lady came out of the bush screaming and hollering and yelling loudly and hysterically beating her breasts. I asked my guide and language interpreter what this woman was saying as she went from hut to hut in this village? He listened and then said she was notifying everyone that her father was just bitten by a black mambo snake and they were to prepare to bury him soon! Apparently being bitten by that snake was always deadly.

    I asked that man to go to this woman and ask her if she would take me to her father so I could offer my Christian prayers for him? He did and she did; she took us out into the bush about a half hour walk away from the village. We came upon this man thrashing around under a large tree. He was foaming at the mouth and every so often he would be jerking uncontrollably having seizures. As I came up to him seeing him have these seizures I reached out my hand and put it on his head. Before I could utter a word I felt a strange sensation flow down my arm out through the palm of my hand as I laid my hand on his head and instantly this man was flung back down onto the ground. He lay there still for a moment as if he had just been hit hard and knocked out. Then suddenly he sat up and calmly said in his language, translated to me in English, “my head is dizzy and it is now spinning”.

    I did not even get a chance to pray a prayer!

    God simply touched that man the moment I touched his head. He was complete restored within moments to the joys and wonderment of all present.

    The next day at early dawn as we gathered to start the diamond mining operation this man and half the village came to where I was with a goat and fruits and native vegetables. They wanted to do a blood sacrifice to honor me and hold a feast to celebrate me as a great healer to which I refused thanking them for the honor they wanted to bestow upon me. That gave me more of an opportunity to preach the Gospel to these people!

    It seems to me from what the Scripture teaches and what I personally experienced there in Sierra Leone what this sort of snake handling that this man (Pastor Randy Wolford of West Virginia) was doing as a part of his religious practice is not what God was or is teaching us in Scripture? Rather what he was doing and all snake handlers are doing is something less sincere than like what happened to the Apostle Paul when he was putting wood on a fire and a viper comes out and bites him or you accidentally happened to be bitten by a black mambo in the jungles of Africa when you are working out there gathering wild fruits from a mango tree to support your family and then someone comes along and prays for you to be healed?

  8. It would appear to me that the interpretation of the following verse is what is at issue here .

    Mar 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
    Mar 16:18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” .

    As i understand , these signs accompany all those who believe, so the question is , why aren’t all of us drinking deadly poison and handling snakes. Is this a case of needless stupidity , or do we we need to look a little deeper and recognise that the real question is one of hermenuetics.

  9. Bruce, I see from your blog you were a pastor but now are an atheist, which means you were a false convert and took upon yourself to place yourself in a position of spiritual authority thus designating yourself as a man of God, may God be merciful to you for those who sat under your preaching/teaching and were never fed truth. You will be held accountable.
    I find it interesting that you would even visit a Christian blog. In any case, there is little difference between a Charismatic and a Pentecostal, both base much of their belief on feelings, emotions, and experience. That is not what the Bible teaches concerning salvation and being a disciple of Christ. Salvation is based on grace and grace alone and it manifests itself in the regenerated believer by a changed life, not experiences or emotional highs and lows. Speaking in tongues, for instance, is a gift of the Spirit, not a necessity for salvation. I often ask CP if this gift were still in operation, why is it missionaries must first study the language of foreign countries before they travel there? Why doesn’t God just ‘gift’ them with the tongue needed for the country they are destined to do missionary work in?
    The doctrines of grace are sorely missing from most pulpits; it seems Satan fills more pulpits in America than God fearing born again men do.

  10. I also wanted to add commentary from John Gill concerning Mark 16:17-18…

    ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe’,…. Not all of them, but some; and not always, only for a time; and which were necessary for the confirmation of the Gospel, and the establishment of Christianity in the world; and not only believing hearers, but believing ministers of the word, are chiefly designed; and this is said, for the encouragement both of those that preach the Gospel, and of them that hear, believe and obey. The Persic version, contrary to all others, reads, “ye shall show signs and wonders to them that believe not”; see 1Co_14:22.
    ‘In my name shall they cast out devils’; so the Apostle Paul dispossessed the damsel, that had a spirit of divination; commanding the spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come out of her, and it did; and evil spirits also went out of others, through his means, by the power of Christ, Act_16:18; and this power continued for a considerable time among the saints: the phrase “in my name”, is in the Arabic version, joined to the word “believe”, in the preceding clause; and is omitted in the Persic version, but is rightly retained by all others in this place; for by the power and authority of Christ, and not their own, and by calling upon, and making use of his name, such miraculous operations were wrought by the apostles:
    ‘they shall speak with new tongues’: or languages, not such as were new made, and had never been heard and known before; but foreign languages, such as they had never learned, or were able to speak, or understood before; and this not only did the apostles on the day of pentecost, but even common believers at other times, Act_2:4 Act_10:45. ‘They shall take up serpents’,…. The Arabic version adds, “in their own hands”; and in an ancient manuscript of Beza’s it is read, “in the hands”; so the Apostle Paul had a viper, which fastened and hung on his hand, which he shook off, without receiving any harm from it, Act_28:3.
    ‘And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them’;- not that they were hereby warranted to drink poison, to show what power they had; but should they accidentally drink it, or rather should they be forced to it by their enemies in order to destroy them, they should find no hurt by it: and Papias (x) reports of Barsabas, surnamed Justus, who was put up with Matthias for the apostleship, Act_1:23, that he drank a poisonous draught, and by the grace of the Lord, received no hurt: and the Jews themselves report (y), that “a son of R. Joshua ben Levi, swallowed something hurtful; and one came and whispered to him in the name of Jesus, the son of Pandira (so they call our Lord), and he did well.”

  11. On the matter of speaking in tongues. I married a girl from the Philippines. Once, during a worship service a number of years ago a man began speaking out praises to God. During this time he started speaking what sounded like another language. My wife grabbed my arm and said, “he is speaking my native dialect perfectly “praise and thanksgiving to God!” No one got up and drew attention to it or to him. We came up to later and asked him if he knew he was speaking in my wife’s native tongue. He said he wasn’t aware of it just that he felt like flowing freely under the strong anointing that came upon him.

    A friend of mine while visiting Japan and during a time of free worship like that began speaking out. As he was listening to himself he felt a strong anointing come upon him, too. Afterwards, during a coffee time one of his Japanese translator/interpreters came up to him and asked him why he needed him?

    He looked at him somewhat puzzled and asked why he asked that?

    His interpreter said, oh, don’t you know that during worship when you are speaking out you were praising God in perfect Japanese!

    I believe we have both tongues that are spoken as in Acts 2, tongues of another language that those of that language can understand what is being spoken out, Act 2:8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
    Act 2:9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
    Act 2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,
    Act 2:11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians–we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

    And then we have a prayer language such as that that the Apostle Paul wrote about praying more than them all that some in this time and season have, a prayer language that is done in private in one’s prayer closet and not for show in a public setting.

    ————

    Oh and by the way Ray, that portion of the verse in question about drinking deadly poison, for me, does not mean I intentionally drink deadly poison to prove the sincerity of God and His Word. Rather it means someone attempts to kill me by way of secretly putting poison in my drink and because of the power of God and His ability to see and know all things, even the deep things of one’s heart by cunning, He preserves me His Anointed from the deadly consequences of drinking the drink laced with poison foiling the attempt by the murderer hell bent on murdering me.

    To be stupid and capricious and drink a drink laced with poison intentionally and not suffer severe burns in the throat and in the stomach or dying would be out of the norm.

    But to drink a drink laced with poison unawares and then die has another question in it.

  12. I agree with John MacArthur concerning Mark 16:9-20.

    “The external evidence strongly suggests these verses were not originally part of Mark’s gospel. While the majority of Greek manuscripts contain these verses, the earliest and most reliable do not…Further, some that include the passage note that it was missing from older Greek manuscripts, while others have scribal marks indicating the passage was considered spurious.”
    -John MacArthur, MacArthur Study Bible

    I had a Sunday School teacher who pointed out that the reason for doubting verse 16 is because it teaches baptism for salvation teaching it in a (conditional form). In the Greek there are 2 expressed conditions namely “belief” and “baptism” known as protasis. There is also one statement- which indicates the result from the fulfillment of the conditions, namely “shall be saved” known as a apodosis. the two conditions (do not) need to bear identical relationship to the apodosis.
    Anyways those were the notes I wrote in my bible…
    I’ve never cared for that passage because it’s just like someone threw it in there out of nowhere — it just doesn’t make sense. It’s like it was tacked on the end of Mark and cannot be validated by any verses anywhere in the bible.

  13. Quote
    “The external evidence strongly suggests these verses were not originally part of Mark’s gospel. While the majority of Greek manuscripts contain these verses, the earliest and most reliable do not…Further, some that include the passage note that it was missing from older Greek manuscripts, while others have scribal marks indicating the passage was considered spurious.”
    -John MacArthur, MacArthur Study Bible
    end quote

    I believe that a dangerous precedent is set when we begin dismissing parts of scripture that we do not agree with for whatever reason. Either its Sola Scriptura or its not, one of the most important tenets of christian faith is the acceptance of the bible as the inspired word of God. Begin questioning its authority and its a slippery slope one soon finds one’s self on.

    Quote
    I had a Sunday School teacher who pointed out that the reason for doubting verse 16 is because it teaches baptism for salvation teaching it in a (conditional form).
    Quote
    I’ve never cared for that passage because it’s just like someone threw it in there out of nowhere — it just doesn’t make sense. It’s like it was tacked on the end of Mark and cannot be validated by any verses anywhere in the bible.
    end quote

    I beg to differ , read the gospel account of Peter in Acts 2:38
    …………….Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…………

    and compare this with the ” disputed ” verse from Mark 16:16
    ………………He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved………….

    Peter is preaching the very gospel that Jesus charged his disciples with, there is no different gospel here , its the same. To clarify one point though , i believe that the baptism that is refered to here is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, [ NOT the pentecostal version] but the biblical understanding of being baptised in /with the Holy Spirit at the point of rebirth.
    1 Cor 12 :13
    For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body……

    With the aid of Historical / Grammatical [ Literal] hermenuetics, one could possibly eliminate many parts of scripture ” that have been tacked ” on , however , comparing scripture with scripture and allowing the bible to interpret itself leads to a better understanding of these same scriptures.

  14. Hi Unworthy 1,

    You wrote
    “Bruce, I see from your blog you were a pastor but now are an atheist, which means you were a false convert and took upon your self to place yourself in a position of spiritual authority thus designating yourself as a man of God, may God be merciful to youfor those who sat under your preaching / teaching and were never fed the truth. You will be held accountable.”

    I find your response to Bruce very offensive. Your response indicates that you have not read much of Bruce’s journey. Bruce believed that he was genuinely converted and called by God to preach the gospel. The Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Churches that Bruce pastored all thought that he was called by God and they thought that he preached the gospel, believed the Fundamentalist fundamentals and led a genuine Christian life. In other words, they believed he was “born again”.

    Moreover, they believed that he preached and taught the truth of the bible. You say that he never fed them the truth. I take it, then, that the 5 Points of Calvinism that he taught (in some of the Churches he was called to) were not the truth. I certainly don’t think Calvinism is the truth, but Bruce did, and so do you. Before you jump in with your preconceived ideas, it might have been wise to read more of what Bruce has said about his journey.

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

  15. John Arthur,
    I find it strange you would intervene here, since you yourself do not believe all of the word of God to be divinely inspired.
    As for Bruce’s journey, in reality, what difference does it make? In the end, he proved to be a false convert by the fact that he turned away from Christ. He was never born again, so how could he have known truth? He merely repeated what he’ been taught, but was never preaching under the power of the Spirit. However, God can use anyone for His purposes, including this situation.
    My comment was not intended to be offensive, but a warning. I refer to James 3:1 “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”

  16. What an interesting comment thread. As to Bruce, I John says that those who have gone out from us were not of us, and they went out so that could be revealed. Bruce perhaps did many wonderful works in Jesus’ name, which proves nothing — Matthew 7:21-23.

    Re: Michael comments, two quick thoughts. First, the idea of sensing or feeling a “strong anointing” has no Biblical basis. Second, I Cor. 14 clearly says tongues are a sign to unbelievers. Any true gift of tongues today would be in such a way to be verified so even unbelievers will know it has happened. There won’t be a need to take the word of anyone. Show me a gift of tongues today that is a sign for unbelievers and then I’ll take it seriously.

    Third, as to the last twelve verses of Mark 16, I am hesitant to reject them largely on the testimony of two transcripts which disappeared into the Vatican and a monastery for 1500 years. Those copying the Scriptures 1600-1700 years ago knew of these verses and of manuscripts that left them out. They chose to include them, and so they are in the vast majority of manuscripts. We have a tiny segment of the manuscripts of that day, yet think we are smarter than the people who were making copies back then.

    I think it highly unlikely that God left the only accurate manuscripts of His Word languishing in Roman Catholic / Orthodox hands for 1 1/2 millenia. I recognise I may be in the minority on this view. Nevertheless, I urge caution in just chucking these verses out the window.

  17. Jon

    thanks for your comments.

    Begging to differ though, I would commend you to these verses for reconsideration:

    Mar 5:30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”

    Col 1:3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
    Col 1:4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,
    Col 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,
    Col 1:6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing–as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,
    Col 1:7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf
    Col 1:8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
    Col 1:9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
    Col 1:10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
    Col 1:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
    Col 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

    1Th 1:4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,
    1Th 1:5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
    1Th 1:6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
    1Th 1:7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

    Here are just three examples where the sense of God’s power and presence and the spiritual “fruit” of the Gospel increased and it indicates the awareness of Him, His might and power is increasing among them. The first is Jesus Himself speaking a “knowing” of this power going out of Him. The second is interesting in that you see an increased understanding of this power of the Gospel being communicated from one to another by the “Spirit” as His strengthening work with all power, something all True Believers should have operating in them as they grow and mature in the Grace of God lest the false signs and wonders and powers of devils delude them away from God to what is phony. And finally, third, we again see the power of the Gospel coming not in “word” only but also in power and in the Holy Spirit with full conviction, meaning there is evident an ever increasing sense and force and dynamic of Grace of God at work in the True Believer. It is interesting to note also that this Apostle notes that those maturing Christian believers became an example of this increased power and the Holy Spirit to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia!

    As for you not taking seriously dialects or prayer tongues, another’s dialect being manifestly known to unbelievers of the fact that I witnessed along with my whole congregation present at the time that brother flowed with the Holy Spirit and uttered in prayer outloud in my wife’s native dialect clear praises of God is on you not us. We have told that story to a number of unbelievers who gave attention to our witness to that move of the Spirit. I have also shared the story my friend and co-worker, a very mature Spirit filled brother in the Lord, told us about his own experience when worshiping God freely in a worship time in Japan to unbelievers as well.

    Remember something. Some of us plant the “word/seed”. Some of us water the “word/seed”. But it is always God who gives the increase each and every time.

    I would so caution you Jon not to dismiss out of hand spiritual manifestations that you may not be comfortable with or knowledgeable about just because your faith is weak and uncertain of the variety of spiritual Gifts of God God so manifests through His Children according to His Own Will sovereignly to draw out of darkness unbelievers making them believers.

    I believe it was Lord Chadsworth who penned the miracles of God sometimes make unbelievers out of believers because they are so astounding and unbelievable!

    Anyway Jon, I hope I have replied fairly and in a balanced manner to your comments about mine above about these things being discussed in the post?

  18. Hello, Michael. None of those Scriptures reference “feeling a strong anointing.” They just don’t. Jesus knew something happened. People have increasing understanding. That’s not “feeling”. That’s knowing the truth. You are conflating “Spirit” and “power” with “feeling”, and the powerful working of the Spirit with temporary phenomena. But the fruit of the Spirit is not feelings or miracles or tongues or prophecy, but love, joy, peace, etc. It is daily being conformed to the image of His dear Son, being transformed by the renewing of our minds.

    Spiritual manifestations not described in Scripture are usually either 1) empty emotionalism and it didn’t really happen or 2) tricks used by a powerful spiritual enemy to deceive.

    The gift of tongues was given for a very specific purpose, not for the things you describe. Does that mean that God could not miraculously enable someone to speak in a foreign language for a different purpose? God can do anything. But if it is not consistent with the purposes God gave in Scripture, it is in no way normative — something God commands us to receive. We’ll never hurt God’s feelings by saying, “If you can’t show me in Scripture, I’m skeptical.”

    The fact remains you are but one witness. Any one of us may be honest or a deceiver. The same is true of me. People should only believe what I write if it is true to Scripture. Why should anyone believe me — I’m just a guy on the Internet. I’m not anonymous like many, but that proves nothing. If I were a deceiver, I might choose identity disclosure just to get people to trust me more. Nor should anyone believe you just because you say something.

    Buf if we did believe you, that still proves nothing. We have to believe your wife in one case and an interpreter in another. One witness in each case, even if you are honest. But even if they adn you are honest, you given no evidence it was not a trick of Satan, even if it happened exactly as you say.

    There is no reason for us to take your word that this happened, no reason to believe the testimony of an interpreter or your wife as to exactly what happened, and no reason for us to believe that it was from God if it did happen as you describe. We have to believe you, and believe people you talk about, and believe that it must have been God (when we’ve been told to test the spirits). We have to believe and believe and believe things that aren’t in Scripture. Sorry, but I won’t.

  19. Again Jon,

    You are expressing a very narrow reasoning from the Scriptures in here.

    The Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to take his word and ponder it believing God would give him understanding. Not that I am an apostle and you are my disciple, but, I would commend you now to ponder what I am sharing with you and if God gives you more spiritual wisdom and understanding in these things I am sharing, great!

    I will leave off with more portions of verses to make my point more clear and let others judge my words as you are. I am not offended by you to judge my words when I share what I believe and have experienced over my ministry lifetime. I am not God. I don’t give a rip if you do or if you do not believe me. That is not the point here. What I do care about is more and more members of the Body of Christ will come into and demonstrate a full understanding of the spiritual gifts Christ died for His Body to receive and fully function in (the True Church in this generation) in a way that there will come into the world a clear and convincing distinction between the false powers of Satan at work through fallen man and the True and powerful sanctifying Work and Word of the Holy Spirit through the Church in this fallen, darkened world devils filled!

    Before I paste the verses I would commend you to 1 Corinthians 12 and weigh those words in the Greek and maybe the Holy Spirit will give you some understanding about what the Apostle is teaching us when using this word:

    ἐνεργέω
    energeō
    en-erg-eh’-o
    From G1756; to be active, efficient: – do, (be) effectual (fervent), be mighty in, shew forth self, work (effectually in).

    I understand your apprehension in a day and time where obsession with and an extreme demonstration of one’s selfish soul seems to be more and more prevalent than an ever increasing and clear demonstration of the true spiritual gifts as were demonstrated in the days of the book of Acts and the time of the writing of the Epistles. My use of the word “feeling” is not out of bounds here nor is it being applied in an extreme way. Feeling is closely related to the word “soul” (psuche). The soul of man, his mind, will and emotions is what the Lord is redeeming and restoring so as to express His character and likeness through it by giving testimony in this world about Him and about no other, even one’s self. The Scripture teaches that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.

    Here, consider what the Lord is “still” presently saying and doing through parts of His Church by these verses, verses that are just as active, powerful and alive spiritually now as when He first written or uttered by Prophets of old or by Paul when he repeated them and Luke recorded them so that they then became a part of Scripture, too, for our learning and admonition upon whom the ends of the ages has come.

    Act 14:1 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed.
    Act 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
    Act 14:3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
    Act 14:4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Act 26:8 Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
    Act 26:9 “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
    Act 26:10 And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them.
    Act 26:11 And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
    Act 26:12 “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
    Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
    Act 26:14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
    Act 26:15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
    Act 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
    Act 26:17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles–to whom I am sending you
    Act 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
    Act 26:19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
    Act 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

    2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
    2Th 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
    2Th 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
    2Th 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
    2Th 2:11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,
    2Th 2:12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
    2Th 2:13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
    2Th 2:14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    2Th 2:15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
    2Th 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,
    2Th 2:17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

    You seem to be an intelligent person, Jon, so I will forego parsing those verses. I trust you have a prayer life and you too are walking in the Truth and in the power and Spirit of God and His Grace so that you are able to comfort other’s hearts and encourage other True Believers to every good work and word?

    I trust that your eyes are opened up to the darkness and the light, the power of Satan and God?

    I trust that your aim in this life now is to bring glory and honor and praise with boldness to God Our Heavenly Father and to Jesus Christ the Lord as He and the Holy Spirit use you testifying to the Word of His Grace in the community you presently reside in or will reside in afterwards?

    I can testify to you that Christ is increasing in greater measure through the power of the Spirit and Grace through the True Church in these days and in the days to come until what the Apostle wrote about here, comes about:

    Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
    Eph 1:8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
    Eph 1:9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
    Eph 1:10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………….

    Eph 3:8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
    Eph 3:9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
    Eph 3:10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
    Eph 3:11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
    Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

    The Eternal purpose of God is going to be established through the Church in this world as She goes about manifesting the manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

    Rev 18:1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory.
    Rev 18:2 And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
    Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”
    Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;
    Rev 18:5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
    Rev 18:6 Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
    Rev 18:7 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’
    Rev 18:8 For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”

    This is our hope. This is our honor. This is what is being completed in our time and generation just as the Psalmst wrote about already and so did John when revealed to him:

    Psa 143:8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
    Psa 143:9 Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD! I have fled to you for refuge!
    Psa 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
    Psa 143:11 For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
    Psa 143:12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Psa 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands,
    Psa 149:7 to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples,
    Psa 149:8 to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
    Psa 149:9 to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the LORD!

    Anyway, I will stand my ground in this debate, Jon. I am in no way offended by you or your judgments being expressed in here against my reasoning and the understanding the Lord has given to me to share with others who have the same hope within them as I.

  20. “feeling a strong anointing” is unbiblical. We don’t go by how we “FEEL” we go by the truth regardless of how we feel. We may feel something and be deceived. We may not feel anything and have a powerful move of the Holy Spirit. Jesus didn’t “feel” like going to the cross and yet he did the Father’s will so powerfully and it was the greatest act of God….

    I listened to I think it was Adrian Rogers one time talk about one of his sermons he gave. He “felt” so void of the presence of God and the whole time he gave his sermon he struggled and felt like he was dragging a weight of emptiness. After the sermon he said there were people coming up to him who had never heard such a powerful message and were moved. He was stunned because the whole time he didn’t “feel” anything from God…

    It should be the TRUTH that moves us not our feelings. If there are feelings then fine but we have to go by truth motivating and moving us

  21. Linda – AMEN and AMEN!

  22. Michael, thank you for citing Scripture. It doesn’t say what you are making it to say. Christ did not die for His Body to receive spiritual gifts. Our hope and our honour is not the destruction of Babylon. Christ in us is our Hope, and we are complete in Him (Col. 2:10).

    You don’t realise it, but some of this sounds like the Mormons — if you just pray and ask God, He will give the burning in the bosom and you will know. Some sounds like homosexual activists — the reasons people oppose them are allegedly weakness, ignorance, fear, and personal discomfort.

    You suggested that disagreeing with you is born out of weak faith. You cited experiences — I’ll give some of mine. I was threatened with a gun to my head. My son and I were assaulted. I sat in our church with my kids, an old man, and his wife while a gang of drug dealers tried to break down the door to attack us. I’ve distributed Gospel leaflets to every home in our town multiple times — and been bitten by dogs uncounted times, threatened, sworn at, received late night phone calls, been denounced in the local press, etc.

    There’s no reason you should believe that, but it might be true (it is in this case), so you might reconsider casual suggestions that someone is motivated by fear or weak faith. Maybe it is just that the person is interested in the power of God that actually changes hearts and lives rather than a counterfeit that turns people’s affections towards exciting temporal experiences.

    Nevertheless, you are right. My faith is not as strong as it should be. But that is not the reason I reject what you say. It is because, simply, the Scriptures don’t teach it.

    Linda — Amen!

  23. Michael, you claim “As I came up to him seeing him have these seizures I reached out my hand and put it on his head. Before I could utter a word I felt a strange sensation flow down my arm out through the palm of my hand as I laid my hand on his head and instantly this man was flung back down onto the ground. He lay there still for a moment as if he had just been hit hard and knocked out. Then suddenly he sat up and calmly said in his language, translated to me in English, “my head is dizzy and it is now spinning”.
    Do you consider going to hospitals and putting your hand on the forehead of a child who is terminally ill?

    Jon,
    Thank you for sharing your trials and persecutions, which our Lord said we would suffer. You are a blessing brother.

    Linda,
    dear sister, a big ‘amen’ to you!

  24. Lyn,

    we don’t of our own free will manufacture healings and miracles. So I do not intrude and do some of the intrusive stupid ignorant things I have heard about some have done by going to a morgue or hospital to pray for the sick or raise the dead. I have seen the dead raised. I have seen the sick instantly healed. I do pray whenever I am asked to pray. In the case of the man bitten by the snake I was sensing a Peace to ask if I could go pray for him and the outcome was wonderful. Out there in the bush there is no phone you can pick up and dial 911 and get immediate medical assistance. Out there in the bush it’s death and life experiences and the poor suffer great hardship upon their soul in those places. I have been to all seven continents and been to some of the most troubling of places of several nations, seen the hardship and have some sense why there isn’t parity among the rich and poor but a great man made God permitted gulf between them, the rich and poor, unlike what the United States has experienced. I remember reading a story, whether it was made up or true means little. It is the import that is conveyed by it that hopefully sets the realities into focus. During the great depression in the United States a little girl came to school complaining to her school teacher that there was such hardship in her house because she overhead the butler tell the maid things were getting tighter and tighter and they were going to have to make do with what Mommy provided them in fulfilling their duties to this family!

    Jon, interestingly enough, most if not all of those things you cited I too have experienced and far more than that in this case. Experiences like those you cite and I could cite and strong or weak Faith are quite different matters.

    No, I do not believe you when you say Scripture does not teach what I am saying in here. Scripture very much does teach what I am saying in here, teaching on both sides, the true side and the false side.

    Linda, again, there is Christ, the Son of God and then there is Christ Jesus, the Son of Man. He is fully God and man and the Holy Spirit has done a perfect and masterful job of capturing both His humanity and emotions as a man and His Divinity sent with a might and power and authority that was and still is exercised on behalf of God and His Elect in Scripture.

    Feelings and emotions are what we are made of. Having encounters with the supernatural shakes up my emotions deeply. Having encounters with thugs and false brethren disturbs my emotions deeply and bring out of me similar emotions as we read about came out of Jesus in John’s Gospel. Having high joyful emotions or strong feelings for God in God induced praise and worship both in my natural being and my spiritual being is clearly found in the Scriptures. The Scripture also warns us not to despise prophecy rather to judge it.

    Again, I would offer a caution you all to not dismiss out of hand what I am saying in here in response to this post. I sense your apprehension and doubts as you express each of your perspectives.

    We each will and do have to give an account for every word and deed we utter, type, believe or do.

    Are there miracles and healing happening in the Church and in the world today? Yes. And I pray there will be an ever increasing amount of them, too.

    Are men and women, boys and girls moved upon by the Spirit that brings out of their soul strong feelings? Yes. Let everything be done in moderation.

    Are men and women abusing these things for selfish gain and for personal glory? Yes. And whenever you have a opportunity to bring out into the light such darkness and cunning, do so.

    Anyway, I do realize which side of this debate we are on. Obviously I am not taking your position offering instead some understanding and hopefully in a balance moderate way? As I have been given opportunity to pray for others as it happens during my day from God Himself I take the opportunity and not shy away from it.

    I leave off with this sound wisdom from the Apostle Peter and look forward to any more responses from any one of you or others:

    1Pe 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
    1Pe 4:11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
    1Pe 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
    1Pe 4:13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
    1Pe 4:14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
    1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.
    1Pe 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
    1Pe 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
    1Pe 4:18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

  25. Michael,
    So this gift of healing you claim to have is sporadic and selective? You only heal where there is no medical facilities close by?
    And then you come close to making threats with this “Again, I would offer a caution you all to not dismiss out of hand what I am saying in here in response to this post. I sense your apprehension and doubts as you express each of your perspectives. We each will and do have to give an account for every word and deed we utter, type, believe or do.”

    You also claim to have seen the dead raised; all you state has no verifiable proof, and yet, we are to take you at your word. Satan has power to do signs and miracles as well, how can we be sure this isn’t the power that enables you to do all that you claim and have seen?

    It is apparent you base much of what you believe on feelings, emotions, and experiences. I do not rely upon any of those because I know they are all corrupt because of our depraved state. I also do not believe the gift of healing as you state is in operation today per God using men/women. It seems whenever we hear of such, it’s always in remote area of the world and there is no verifiable proof, just like your story. I do believe God can heal instantaneously as He desires and chooses, just not through man.
    I know the power of the God of the universe, not because I have experienced Him healing a sick person, or because He has raised a corpse from physical death. I have seen a much greater display of His magnificent power…when He regenerated me. When He broke through my depraved mind and opened it up to my wickedness, then gifted me with eternal life. When he brought me from my dead state of depravity and being in bondage to sin by re-birthing me. This is the absolute greatest display of His power – His saving a sinner. I don’t need to experience healings and miracles, all I have to do is look in the mirror for I am proof the God of the universe is mighty, powerful, merciful and magnificent.

  26. Amen!

  27. Lyn said

    “Do you consider going to hospitals and putting your hand on the forehead of a child who is terminally ill? ”

    Lyn –

    With all do respect for the passion we share for Christ and the doctrines of grace, is it possible that you would you have been asking the apostles this same question if you were born in the first century? I cant find any place in scripture that states the gifts given to the Church have ceased. Cessationism seems like a gnostic teaching passed down through the reformed church. Also, should the overwhelming amount of false teaching in america cause us to say the genuine gift of teaching is no longer active in the church? How come this is an accepted logic to use when referencing false signs and wonders… that the false proves there are no longer any true. I too know the God of the universe through a radical conversion and continued chastising and sanctification of the Spirit for the bearing of fruit in keeping with repentance. Yet I believe the genuine Church can be seem in Acts far more than what the reformers (mildly refromed roman catholics) came up with 1500 years later. I believe the word of God. Also, my comment here has nothing to do with the other poster as I do not know if they are a benny hinn wanna be or a genuine brother in Christ – it is just about the issue at hand. Here are some previous thoughts on this.

    http://fleebabylon.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/sola-confused/

    Regardless – God bless you in Christ Jesus Lyn.

  28. Question? Why do they only handle snakes? I want to see them drink the Drano and have no effects! I’ll supply the Drano…

    (CAUTION:This post is only to make a point. Nobody should consume Drano. Your outcomes may vary. Neither the website nor the hosting company approve of this comment. )

  29. I am a cessationist Jim, so I do believe the gifts of healing, speaking in tongues and miracles were solely for the apostolic age. Where are those who speak in foreign languages? Where are those who have the gift of healing and why aren’t they going to hospitals and healing the sick? If these gifts were still in operation, then why do missionaries have to learn foreign languages, and why do born again believers die from disease {such as Dr. Jim Boice, who died from liver cancer – http://www.tenth.org/articles/000507jmb.pdf}? I have never seen any verifiable evidence to support the gifts of tongues, healing and miracles still exist outside the charismatic pentecostal denomination.

    This is from John MacArthur…
    ‘God may still heal directly and miraculously today; in response to the faithful prayers of His children. But no Christian today has the gifts of healings. This is apparent because no one today can heal as did Jesus and the apostles—who with a word or touch instantaneously and totally healed all who came to them, and who raised the dead. The Corinthian church may have seen God perform healings through Paul or others who had those abilities, and in that case Paul mentions them here simply to remind the Corinthians of the variety of ways in which God equips His people to do His work.

    The gifts of healings, like the other sign gifts, were temporary, given to the church for authenticating the apostolic message as the Word of God. The Great Commission does not include a call to heal bodies but only the call to heal souls through the preaching of the gospel. It is not that God became no longer interested in men’s physical health and well–being or that the church should have no such concern. Medical work has long been a God–blessed part of Christian service and is one of the cutting edges of modern missions. But God’s healing work, whether through medicine or miracle, is no longer an authenticating sign, and He no longer endows His church with such gifts.

    As did all the others with the gifts of healings, Paul used it sparingly and only for its intended purpose. It was never used solely for the purpose of bringing physical health. Paul himself was sick, yet he never healed himself nor asked a fellow gifted believer to heal him. Paul’s dear friend and fellow worker Epaphroditus had been terribly ill and would have died but for God’s intervention. “God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow” (Phil. 2:27). God miraculously healed Epaphroditus, but if the apostle had freely exercised the gift of healing, he would not have had to make a special plea to God. When Timothy, another co–worker, had stomach trouble and other ailments Paul did not heal him but rather advised him to drink some wine (1 Tim. 5:23). Trophimus, still another associate, Paul “left sick at Miletus” (2 Tim. 4:20). He did not exercise the gift of healing except as necessary to confirm the power of the gospel, not to make Christians healthy.’

    You can read the article in its entirety here – http://www.gty.org/resources/bible-qna/BQ042712/are-healing-and-tongues-for-today

  30. Amen, Lyn! God can do miracles as it suits Him. Man does not have the power to do such – God did just as you rightly summarized: proved Jesus to be the Messiah by them. Glory to God alone!

  31. Lyn said–”I have seen a much greater display of His magnificent power…when He regenerated me. When He broke through my depraved mind and opened it up to my wickedness, then gifted me with eternal life. When he brought me from my dead state of depravity and being in bondage to sin by re-birthing me. This is the absolute greatest display of His power – His saving a sinner.”

    I wholeheartedly agree with you lyn. That’s the greatest miracle in any truly born again believer. Physical healing pales in comparison.The ONLY other miracle better or equal to us being saved is to see people we love and have been praying for being saved. No miracle can match the matchless beauty of knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior. All these -so called miracles, signs and God said this and God said that is just a bunch of foolishness. And the whole time what is the person chasing after? The next high, the next miracle, the next time God will supposedly use them and that is what’s driving them. God’s WORD the TRUTH is what is supposed to bring us the most joy. Who Jesus is and what he’s done in saving vile filthy sinners such as us. Jesus even said that Truth is for joy NOT feelings and anointings… this is sensual and fleshly and plays greatly upon man’s pride and arrogance. People are seeking the next miracle “high” or “anointing” the whole time and never truly seeking the Lord Jesus Christ HIMSELF> This is idolatry folks pure and simple.

    These last days are days of great deception. Miracles and works performed mightly are not a valid test of spirits. There will be people doing miracles in Jesus name and (still go to hell) because they were practicing lawlessness~ -,,,,,,” and in Your name perform {{many miracles}}’ —Matthew 7:22-23 ,,”And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’”

    We can even deceive ourselves – our own hearts are deceitful and wicked above all things, who can know it? We don’t even know our own hearts. Only God does-Pr.15:11 and that’s why we need to “trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding”…

    We need to consider the warnings and examples given in Scripture of how extremely serious it is to automatically believe healings are all from the Lord and we need to test the spirits to see if they are from God. ~ 1 John 4:1. The problem is most people are credulous and think automatically that all healings are automatically from God–they are NOT. Satan can do counterfeit healings and he is a very powerful being…

    I don’t deny miracles –in our day and I don’t deny that God can do what he pleases. But like lyn stated God doesn’t perform miracles as he did back during the time of the Apostles. Why? Because God has chosen to manifest His attesting miracles during certain revelatory times in human history for specific purpose (mainly to jump-start Church and they were specifically done by the Apostles.— 2Cr 12:12 The things that mark an apostle–signs, wonders and miracles–were done among you with great perseverance.” We no longer have Apostles and that’s a HUGE reason given from Scripture as to why these miracles have ceased.

    We no longer need “miracles” in our day. Miracles are not necessary when we have “the word of the prophets made more certain”. We have God’s Word that is complete. Until God’s word was completed through John,— signs and miracles accompanied specifically the Apostles throughout the Bible. If you read God’s word and study it synergistically you will find that the miracles tapered off by the time Revelation was written. We don’t find anymore miracles done such as raising people from the dead or healings after the 1st Century Church. Besides we don’t need miracles like they did back then to attest to the Apostles. I said, the greatest miracles is when God saved me. Where many misunderstand is because of their failure to accept the growing truth of God and this leads to error. Miracles were performed by Jesus to show that HE indeed is the Messiah. As the Church was born and began miracles were accompanied by the apostles as a springboard or jumpstart for the growth of the Church. This is no longer necessary as Christianity spread. Does this mean that God no longer performs miracles? Certainly not. He can and he does but through the progression of God’s plans and purposes, according to God’s word, we Have been given “THE WORD OF THE PROPHETS”—And we have the word of the prophets MADE MORE CERTAIN, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star roses in your hearts.”—2 Peter 1:19.

  32. “Amen, Lyn! God can do miracles as it suits Him. Man does not have the power to do such – God did just as you rightly summarized: proved Jesus to be the Messiah by them. Glory to God alone!”

    Manfred – man does not have the power to draw his next breath apart from the grace of God, let alone lay hands on the sick and heal them. I think we both agree on that. Yet we know for sure that God has given these gifts to the church (though of course many believe only for a season). Either way, I agree that they are only a means to end but again I would lay these two charges on many in the refromed church (not anyone particular here as I do not really know anyone and appreciate most that I have come in contact with).

    1) If they lived in the first century when even they claim the gifts were active.. they still would have rejected them

    2) There is no sound scriptural teaching that the gifts were only for a seaon, if an emergent were to come on here and use similar logic or reasoning to defend some gnostic teaching they would be torn to shreads by my refromed brethen

    ““THE WORD OF THE PROPHETS”—And we have the word of the prophets MADE MORE CERTAIN, ”

    Linda-

    Imagine if I threw out some out of context verses to build an argument that the gift of teaching has passed. Of course I would never attempt to do such a false thing, but here is where I would start. I say this only to show how weak the use of the above verse you quotes is to defend your cause.

    Matthew 23:8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.

    John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

    Hebrews 8:11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

    I believe the gift of teaching passed with the apostles, and all those who sit under the teaching of a pastor are being misguided by the spirits of dead reformers… yes I am joking, but you get the idea.

    -Jim

    PS-
    “Linda says:

    We no longer need “miracles” in our day. Miracles are not necessary when we have “the word of the prophets made more certain”.

    Linda-

    Did we ever really need miracles? Yet God choose them. God choose a many membered body with many gifts – not a senior pastor, clergy-laity system, or any other thing the reformers brought us from rome. This may get closer to the heart of the matter.

    1Co 12:27 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?

  33. Jim, they were “needed” to confirm apostolic authority and the giving of the Word. The Jews were told in the OT to examine the signs of one claiming to be a prophet. Paul said he worked the signs of an apostle. Of course, God could have confirmed another way, so they technically weren’t “needed,” but He chose to use signs — for a purpose.

    Jim, you are a cessationist. You do not go out looking for manna every morning. You believe that God worked in a certain way for a certain time and certain purpose, and then He stopped working in that way. That makes you a cessationist. The question is not whether cessationism itself is Biblical, but rather as to which works of God it applies, when, and why. Manna was not needed, but God used it for a time, and then stopped. God could still give someone manna today (after all, we’re supposed to pray for our daily bread), but if someone tells me He did, I would be under no obligation to take their word for it.

    Lyn, thank you for the kind comments, but I regret adding my experiences. It was taken by Michael as a claim to authority which must be answered in kind, rather than, as it was intended, a caution about jumping to conclusions about another person. Nevertheless, I’ll trust God to use it.

  34. Jon,

    You write this to Lyn: “It was taken by Michael as a claim to authority which must be answered in kind,” …

    Hmmmmm, ok, where do you read in the Scriptures where you must or I must be answered in kind?

    What? Do you not believe that Jesus Christ is alive and able to discipline His own?

  35. Michael, you appeared to answer my statement by citing your own experiences as somehow validating what you are saying. That is all I meant by answering “in kind”.

    I did not post my experiences to claim authority or stack my experiences against yours, or anything like that. I posted to illustrate how wrong it can be to make negative assumptions about the motivations of another person based on one or two comments.

  36. Jon,

    And I am to assume you were not making any negative assumptions yourself with regard to any comments I have made in here?

    _________________________________________________

    unworthy1

    for what it is worth if you so choose to be the chosen 1, then I have to claim 2 in the order! :)

    But enough of foolishness, you asked two questions and there is simply no basis for them but your own presupposition and opinion about my testimony to the Truth as I have shared it freely in here.

    You asked: So this gift of healing you claim to have is sporadic and selective?

    My answer to that question is, no, I do not claim to be a faith healer or a healer of anyone. Christ was wounded for “our” transgressions, and the use of the word “our” to me is meaning only those God gave to Him. Please refer to John 17:25-26 following:

    Joh 17:25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.
    Joh 17:26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

    Christ was bruise for our iniquities, the chastisement was upon Him for our Peace and by His stripes we were healed. Have you never read this and believed it embracing it as Truth?

    Deu_32:39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

    I find what the emergent church is doing or anyone for that matter is doing beyond those verses is a fool seeking glory for their own purposes and as I have said before, every word, thought or deed I do will come before Him and give an account to Him who inspired Moses to pen those Words (Deuteronomy 32:39).

    Yes, I claim to “know” both the Father Jesus is praying to in this chapter, John 17; and Jesus because the Father Jesus is praying to has revealed to me who Jesus is, why Jesus was sent and where Jesus is currently and that He will come again.

    Php 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
    Php 3:21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

    Heb 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
    Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

    Yes, I claim that Christ has made known to me the Father’s Names and daily in communion with Him He reveals more and more of His Names and Glory and Majesty to me to which I claim also, as you, I am an unworthy servant!

    Mat 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

    Yes, I claim that the love God has loved Jesus with is in me and Christ also is in me.

    1Jn 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
    1Jn 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

    That all being said, I also have received and received gladly with great emotion at times the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit Whom the Father gave to Jesus to give to those He gave to Jesus with joy unspeakable and full of Glory, His, Their Glory as I worship God alone and do so in Spirit and Truth.

    Joh 7:36 What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?”
    Joh 7:37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
    Joh 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
    Joh 7:39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    Now to your next question:

    “You only heal where there is no medical facilities close by?”

    I have been asked to go to hospitals on a number of occasions. Never once did I seek to go to pray for those in a hospital. Usually it is a person in Ministry who has asked me to go or a friend or a family member or the person them self. Whenever I am asked to give an answer for the Hope that lies within me I give my reasonable answer. Whenever someone asks me to come and pray for them or someone else asks me to come and pray for someone else, I always begin with prayer to God first.

    This present world is so caught up with expert opinions, medical or legal, insisting on “you know you should get a doctor’s opinion”. I don’t agree with that and I stand outside the norm when it comes to having medical insurance or going to get a physical every time something seems to come upon me. I rarely go to a physician. I don’t even have a personal doctor.

    The you have the fake faith healers or snake handlers and the likes of Todd Bentley or Benny Hinn and others who bring disgrace to the Church and discredit to those God uses at times according to His Will for His purposes. I ask you, “who can stay His Hand” when He wants to do anything through His Church?

    I have good Biblical reasons for asking that. I don’t see the medical world as accomplishing or increasing the Faith once delivered to the Saints. Rather I see people greedy for gain and blinded by the pleasures riches afford those gaining wealth by this profession wanting to live a long life. Well, if that was the Will of God for everyone, why was Jesus cut down in His prime or Stephen in the book of Acts or some who die in the womb or just minutes after being born? I believe ignorance is driving this thing, this phenomenon of having your own personal physician. Whatever happened to trusting in the Lord? I think this is because of our human weaknesses and the supernatural nature of God’s intervention in a person’s life. To some, they are mature enough to experience supernatural things, both good and evil. To others, well, they simply are not. This whole idea of getting an expert and get a second opinion world that is driving worldly people devoid of the Spirit of Truth, the rich especially, to hope in a human’s abilities, based in science and not in God is of the devil.

    I think often about this one verse alot when considering this that I am speaking about now about the urge people have to go first to the doctor and not to the Lord:

    2Ch 16:12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.

    We have many wonderful Biblical examples of truly “Faith” full people who believed in the power of God to raise the dead and heal the sick. Take Abraham, the father example, the premiere example of those who live by the power of God’s Faith and not human emotions and feelings and strengths and weaknesses. Here is a man who believed God not only could raise the dead, his son Isaac, He could reconstitute him from ashes seeing he took Isaac and bound him on an altar of wood, first to slay him with a knife and then light him up on the altar of fire afterwards and burn him up making him a true burnt offering reduced to ashes afterwards. Consider what Scripture reveals:

    Gen 22:1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.”
    Gen 22:2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
    Gen 22:3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
    Gen 22:4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.
    Gen 22:5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”
    Gen 22:6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.
    Gen 22:7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

    I really really really like Jesus’ answer to the Jews seeking to trap Him in His own words when it came to Abraham. Here is what Jesus said:

    Joh 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”
    Joh 8:57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”
    Joh 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

    And I really really really like the testimony given about Abraham, here:

    Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,
    Heb 11:18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
    Heb 11:19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

    So, unworthy1, I do believe you have no basis in fact or Truth to even ask me those two questions. I am not offended by them or by you.

    What do you think? Am I wrong??

  37. Hi, Michael. Go back and look at my first comment (June 3). I said nothing about your motivation or you personally. Your response included:

    1. That I was dismissing things out of hand, suggesting carelessness about truth.
    2. I was acting on personal discomfort (implying fear) or ignorance.
    3. My response was born out of weak faith.

    That is all speculation, things you could not possibly know.

    My next response made no negative assumptions, but merely emphasised that you were asking us to take you on trust, when there is no reason we should. I said that I also should not be taken on trust. There was no assumption about you at all, positive or negative.

    You said I need to ponder/weigh Scripture (carelessness, again) and attributed “apprehension.” My next response only mentioned your motives once, and in a positive manner, saying you don’t realise the way your arguments sound.

    No, I don’t believe I’ve expressed assumptions about your motives. But I will now: I suspect Michael believes what he says, and thinks we would profit if we did, too. He wants to convince us for our benefit (as he sees it). He may have bad motives, but I see no reason to assume he does.

    I suspect you have good motives, and pray you do. But good motives never made anyone right.

  38. Jon,

    I am not now nor was I justifying myself.

    You wrote: Re: Michael comments, two quick thoughts. First, the idea of sensing or feeling a “strong anointing” has no Biblical basis. Second, I Cor. 14 clearly says tongues are a sign to unbelievers. Any true gift of tongues today would be in such a way to be verified so even unbelievers will know it has happened. There won’t be a need to take the word of anyone. Show me a gift of tongues today that is a sign for unbelievers and then I’ll take it seriously.

    If that is not poisoning the well I don’t know what is?

    “…Re: Michael comments, two quick thoughts. First, the idea of sensing or feeling a “strong anointing” has no Biblical basis.”

    That simply is not so. There are numerous places in Scripture where strong emotions and feelings were produced by God’s strong anointing.

    You jumped to 1 Corinthians 14 and in my opinion skewered what is being taught about tongues there and then you go on and lay out your opinion in contradiction to mine. I was present there that night and that night there were fully 100 plus other souls present and of that number several were invited guests, unbelievers. After a man moved by a strong anointing began giving praise to God in English and then in, what my wife whispered to me was her dialect began speaking a tongue was unusual for our group. What happened was acknowledge publicly so that the unbelievers present could understand what happened and bring clarity to all present that this was a Biblical event like what happened as recorded by Luke in Acts, Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. The testimony I shared in here was given as a testimony unbelievers present at that time experienced to show that a sign of tongues, a language and not gibberish was spoken out in their presence that clearly was worship and praise of God as was testified too by my wife, who was the only person in the room who speaks that dialect. It is God’s work by the power and authority of the Holy Spirit to sanctify an unbeliever known to God before the foundation of the world that they are being called by the God of all Grace to His Eternal Glory in Christ. My point is God acts sovereignly as He Wills and no man has a say when or not God does His sanctification work by the Holy Spirit.

    You poisoned the well, Jon, not me. I was testifying to the truth of the experiences I have experienced. I stand on that. When I testify to a true experience and you don’t want to believe it, that’s on you. God is my witness to what He caused to happen and I am testifying to it, that that I have witnessed and experienced.

    I keep my stand and say that you are weak in faith, Jon by conflating experiences you have and not giving testimony to supernatural events as I have shared I experienced and because of that you were and still are moved to keep responding to what is going on. And now you go ahead and draw another line in the sand to justify your actions and responses to mine in here about what I have given testimony to, a testimony to the supernatural experiences I have experienced.

    I think it is disgraceful what some have done propping up what they say are supernatural experiences, miracles, healing, visitations by “named” angels sent by God to give them comfort and encouragement all the while they are drawing attention to themselves which does not glorify God or what He does, has done or will do according to His Will and Eternal Purpose.

    Why do I think that way? Because I have experienced legitimate supernatural events that did bring God all the glory and caused others to be strengthened in His Faith that they received for the purpose of having their souls saved from this present evil world full of impostors and evil workers hell bent on discrediting the Truth of God and His Word of Grace or His supernatural intervention in a particular way.

    Anyway, still not offended and I still stand on what I have commented in here.

    If you want to raise up any more issue, Jon, then go ahead and I will respond hopefully appropriately as I have attempted to respond appropriately thus far?

    So be it.
    __________________________________________________

    To the blog creators of this blog: By the way, in response to unworthy1 and these two questions: So this gift of healing you claim to have is sporadic and selective? You only heal where there is no medical facilities close by? earlier this morning ( I am in California) I responded with a lengthy response that doesn’t show up in here? Is there a moderator holding that publication back or is there a moderation happening that is doing that because of the length of my response?

  39. Gentlemen:
    With all due respect, please take your sparring, exchange, or whatever it is you are engaging in, out of the public arena. No doubt you each have strong feelings about what you believe, and no doubt you are each attempting to defend the truth as you understand it. But there comes a point where publicly beating heads against each other comes across as unseemly. Particularly when “you are…”, “no, you are…” terminology is resorted to.

  40. Michael, it is not poisoning the well to disagree with what a person is saying. Poisoning the well is a form of ad hominem in which the person is attacked rather than the argument. I was discussing the things you were saying. I was not discussing you personally.

    I will say this, though. You continue to assert that you personally, your own testimony, should be believed. I continue to assert that neither of us should be believed, but that only the Scriptures should be believed. You continue to assert that the reason we don’t agree is because I am weak in faith. I continue to assert that the reason we don’t agree is because I do not believe the Scriptures teach what you say they do.

    I’ll just add this. You say, “When I testify to a true experience and you don’t want to believe it, that’s on you.” God tells us to believe two or three witnesses. God does not contradict Himself, so no man speaking by the Spirit expects people to accept a single witness. That does not prove you are lying, but it does prove you are not Spirit-led in this discussion. Thus, I will not continue this discussion with you further — you may have the last word if you wish and the blog owners permit.

  41. Michael,
    I agree with Jon, you insist your testimony is true, with no verifiable proof…no witnesses. I also agree with Jon when he says “God does not contradict Himself, so no man speaking by the Spirit expects people to accept a single witness. That does not prove you are lying, but it does prove you are not Spirit-led in this discussion. Thus, I will not continue this discussion with you further — you may have the last word if you wish and the blog owners permit.”

    Our exchange is over Michael

  42. RS, “…But there comes a point where publicly beating heads against each other comes across as unseemly.”

    Yes, you are right and I apologize. Thanks for the reminder, however difficult it is see myself through those words, I see myself and appreciate them, what you have written!

    Also your words bring to mind something the great reformer Martin Luther penned:::>

    MARTIN LUTHER

    FOR IF I DID NOT HAVE THE WELFARE OF MY BROTHER AT HEART

    I WOULD CERTAINLY BE QUIET AND LET HIM GO

    BUT THE FACT THAT I OPEN MY MOUTH AND REBUKE HIM IS AN INDICATION THAT I LOVE HIM AND SEEK HIS WELFARE

    FOR MY FAILURE TO INSTRUCT AND REBUKE MY BROTHER IS ACTUALLY AN EVIDENCE OF ANGER.

  43. Well said.

    I don’t necessarily know anyone’s heart, but all evidence indicates that this kind of behavior is just putting on a ridiculous show in an attempt to pridefully demonstrate how “spiritual” one is. And this is what happens.

    The big problem with these charismaniac fringe groups is not that they just encourage this kind of nonsense- they actually say you *cannot be saved* if you do not, which is obviously a false Gospel.

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