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Where have all the people gone... [message #8834] Fri, 09 March 2012 15:56 Go to next message
william  is currently offline william
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Maybe we've been approaching the lack of signs and wonders in the wrong way.

Jman has rightly asked the question --Where are the 'signs' of the apostles?

We could go further and ask where are the 'signs following' the rest of the valid ministries of God? (Mark 16)

What about the pastor/teacher, the prophets, the evangelists? Are we to conclude that all ministries lacking the supernatural signs found in the pages of the NT, are false ministries?

Why stop with the so-called ministries? Mark 16 indicates that all believers will have these 'signs following'. Why not question the validity of all so-called believers if the signs aren't evident?

You all know that I have presented a case against the commonly held position that the ministries listed in Eph 4 are 'offices'. I think they are ministry gifts--not 'offices'.

Quote:

Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

...

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;


Did He give 'offices' to men or did He give them ministry gifts ..."For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:" (Eph 4:12)?

'Offices' are for occupying and 'gifts' are for using!

If the 'signs' go with the 'office', then a pretty good case could be made that we have no apostles, no prophets, no evangelists, and no pastor/teachers (or very, very, few.)

On the other hand, there are those who establish local Churches, speak for God, spread the Word, shepherd and feed the flock, using the gifts that they have been given, and who have various manifestations of the Holy Spirit working in and through their lives.

These ministers may not, in every case, have results as dramatic as we see in the book of Acts but however lacking they may seem, Churches are still being established, people are still hearing the Word of God, the gospel is still being preached, teachers are still teaching and the flock is still being cared for by pastors.

I'm no historian but according to various writers who claim they are, the restoration of the ministry of the Holy Spirit (or the restoration of the 'baptism of the Holy Spirit') to the Church is not much more than a century old. The Topeka KS, and Azusa Street, revivals purported to be the beginning and precursor to the whole modern-day Pentecostal phenomena.

If we view these events as preparation for the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ and look back to the ministry of John the Baptist who ushered in the 1st coming of Jesus, there are some remarkable contrasts. John, who did no miracle, was nonetheless a prophet. He focused upon preparing the people for the coming of the Saviour. All true ministers of this dispensation are saddled with the same sort of ministry. With or without the remarkable signs and wonders, we are all called to prepare the way for the return of Jesus Christ.

We can lament the lack of signs but this should not be a deterrent to our mission to prepare the way for the Lord's return.

We are deterred to the extent that we are waiting for things to happen that are effectively out of our control.

I do believe that there will be (and to some extent already are) an increase in the sign-gifts because the Holy Spirit has been given to us, but does that mean we should not at the very least be proclaiming the Word of God that we know to be true?

Do you have a gift? Do you believe that Jesus heals and preach that to the masses? If there are no signs following your proclamation does it mean that the Word is not true, or that it shouldn't be preached? (Same goes for the proclamation of the gospel of salvation, etc..)

Maybe it is a lack of faith that hinders the 'signs following'; if so, that is one thing but if we are faithful to proclaim the message --in proportion to our faith and grace-- (Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith; ...) and leave the confirming signs to the One who gave us the gifts in the first place, we might find there are reasons that we have yet to understand for that part of the equation.

We hear the oft-quoted verse that even non-charismatic's love to quote that says that there should never be tongues in a Church unless they be accompanied by an interpretation. It must be a verse that is taught in Vacation Bible School cause everyone quotes it as some kind of immutable law of Scripture.

The circumstances of Paul's admonition in 1Cor14 are quite different than the circumstances of today. If a person in today's church, against all odds, finally overcomes his natural inclination to sit quietly and begins to speak out in tongues, he hasn't committed the unpardonable sin; maybe the person with the interpretation hasn't the nerve yet. Who knows? Now if we had the same situation that prevailed at Corinth, with so many willing participates, it might be necessary to regulate it a bit, but this isn't the case in most places I've attended!

That's not the greatest analogy (for obvious reasons) but my point is this: If God has given you a gift, and you, against all odds, step out and attempt to use this gift in proportion to your present faith, don't be discouraged if great signs and wonders don't immediately follow. (Even Jesus had a tough time on occasions where unbelief was thick enough to cut!<grin>).

When someone who has been sent (like an apostle?) to go into an area to establish a Church, based upon the Word of Jesus Christ, let's not be too hasty if that person can't point to a cadre of signs & wonders to validate his mission.

Same is true of those other ministries mentioned in Eph 4.

Sorry for the long-winded post... I haven't even covered some of the things I've been thinking about, but maybe it will generate some discussion anyway.

Date night begins right now, so I've got to run!

Blessings,
William

[Updated on: Fri, 06 September 2013 14:18]


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8835 is a reply to message #8834 ] Mon, 12 March 2012 09:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
james  is currently offline james
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"Where have all the people gone?"


Immediately the old song written by Pete Seeger and made famous by The Kingston Trio and also Peter, Paul, and Mary..."Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" came to mind. I wuz once a flower child.............but now I'm a child of The King. PTL Smile



"We can lament the lack of signs but this should not be a deterrent to our mission to prepare the way for The Lord's return."

"We are deterred to the extent that we are waiting for things to happen that are effectively out of our control."



I agree William, though I've certainly got much room for growth in this area, I see people(or rather 'read on forums') that are isolated from all things having to do with CHURCH and like to say they are only taught and influenced by Jesus Himself and shy away from 'the masses' and their call to share Jesus with them because they've became deceived or delusional . I would imagine they have been hurt and abused at some time in their Christian walk and are wary of organized religion(not to mention what they 'see' on christian TV).

For the last year or so I've been weekly watching or listening to Tom Hamilton in Shelbyville, Kentucky; he is as sound in doctrine as anyone I'm aware of, yet I have never seen much movement of the gifts in their meetings.(If I've missed it or if possibly they purposely don't record or broadcast any 'signs or wonders', then Praise The Lord...but I'm not aware of any gifts manifesting there besides the teaching gift through Bro. Tom) But I am edified and build up every time I join them in 'cyber-land' as he likes to say of those watching by internet...lol.

I'll wait until you've added those other thoughts you've been pondering to see where you're going with this but I didn't want you to feel as if no one was interested. Maybe Jman is busy on that book, but since you're the relationship expert (refering to date night) maybe you can give him some pointers. Laughing


"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8836 is a reply to message #8835 ] Mon, 12 March 2012 15:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JWBTI  is currently offline JWBTI
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James,

I saw the Gifts in operation at the Knoxville meeting, Tongues, Interpretation an
Prophecy . It seemed to be a normal manifestation in the meetings. As you said
Tom may edit out of the cds from Shelbyville tho.

William,

Good points to ponder….waiting for more


Ron
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8837 is a reply to message #8836 ] Mon, 12 March 2012 21:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JWBTI  is currently offline JWBTI
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I just wonder, if at this time God is allowing this to happen to those that are seeking
After signs and wonders… Rather than seeking after Christ and His Word.

22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
Mark 13:22-23 (KJV)

Just because there are signs & wonders, doesn’t mean it’s from God !


Ron
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8838 is a reply to message #8837 ] Tue, 13 March 2012 09:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
james  is currently offline james
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JWBTI wrote on Mon, 12 March 2012 20:02

I just wonder, if at this time God is allowing this to happen to those that are seeking
After signs and wonders… Rather than seeking after Christ and His Word.

22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
Mark 13:22-23 (KJV)

Just because there are signs & wonders, doesn't mean it’s from God !



Amen brother Ron, I totally agree and have been saying the same thing for several years. Not intending to toot my horn, hope it don't come across that way, but ever since Lakeland/Bentley and what's sprung up the last few years on TBN, Inspiration Network, and God-TV I strongly believe almost all seen in these settings are F-A-L-S-E manifestations from false prophets and they are designed to do just what Jesus warned about..."to seduce...even the elect." BUT, Praise Jesus and by HIS Grace, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. He, (not us) gives His elect eyes and ears to see and hear, to discern the true from the false. (We may, from time to time, briefly get caught up in movements that aren't of God but He is faithful to always draw us back unto Him.)

Again, as I tell myself (and anyone who will listen) constantly, we are in a spiritual war and Satan desires to destroy God's people, we MUST daily put on the armour of God and walk in The Spirit making no provision for the flesh. There are a lot of things I was taught by HEF that I've probably forgotten(or at least they've moved to the back of my memory files...lol) but the warnings of what would happen years down the road and what a Christians response to it should be, rings in mind quite often. '...If it ain't in your heart(faith) when the time comes you'll fall for anything.'(the crux of the warning). Discernment, without it we would fall for any and everything...it only comes from God, from knowing Him and His Word and applying it. The Holy Spirit will quicken to us when something is amiss; there is a 'check in our spirit' and because we are walking in relationship with Jesus we are spared from falling into the deceptions...whether they are 'signs & wonders, false doctrines, false prophets and teachers, or just someone misinterpreting scripture.


"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8839 is a reply to message #8838 ] Tue, 13 March 2012 19:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JWBTI  is currently offline JWBTI
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02/03/2012
Jman wrote:
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 34 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72
------------------------------------------------------------ ---------------------------------

So what you are saying Bro Jman ,
Without an Apostle, an no evidence of Signs & Wonders following……..
The work and ministry of Faith Assembly and Hobart Freeman was not of God ?

William spoke of John the Baptists, he had no signs following.

What about AW Tozer ? Who was his Apostle and where are his signs ?
Was Tozers Ministry of God or of man ?

If we are in need of an Apostle to validate our gifts of ministry (Eph 4,)
Then I must ask you …….
Who is your Apostle ?
Can we trust what you share if you have none ?


Ron
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8840 is a reply to message #8835 ] Thu, 15 March 2012 19:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
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Quote:

I'll wait until you've added those other thoughts you've been pondering to see where you're going with this but I didn't want you to feel as if no one was interested. Maybe Jman is busy on that book, but since you're the relationship expert (refering to date night) maybe you can give him some pointers.


I must be getting old cause I don't remember where I was going... I'm not even sure why I used that title... I guess it was the PBS special on folk music that had me humming the Kingston Trio hit! <grin> I was battling a fever last week and felt exhausted... maybe that's why I was seeing all of those strange creatures as I was looking out my back door! <grin>


Don't get me wrong though, I'm not trying to defend why there is such a lack of signs & wonders... I'm only saying that the lack shouldn't deter us from at the very least doing the things God has called each of us to do--spread the Gospel.

I have been thinking that maybe there is a distinction between 'signs & wonders' and works of faith. On some level we all have experienced the latter-- answers to prayer, healings, etc., but I don't think that is on the same plain as some of the things we would consider miraculous or as Jman would say 'apostolic signs'.

I guess the question boils down to whether or not these types of signs are more the result of our faith, or are they missing as the result of some grand design that we haven't figured out yet?

Ron has brought this question to the forefront before but I haven't arrived at an answer that satisfies this disconnect in our experience.


Blessings,
William


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8841 is a reply to message #8834 ] Thu, 15 March 2012 21:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
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Greetings,

What I am saying is that Christianity has signs-and-wonder-working apostles. (also I Cor 12 signs/wonders, Mk16)
We don't.

I read here you guys (excepting William) trying to come up with a theory/theology to
explain why it is okay that we don't.

I hope you can create such a theology (a valid one of course). It would be a good help for all of us.

---------------



Listen to -
Tom Hamilton message of
Feb 5, 2012
42:12 mark to 42:55 mark





It is so easy for us to assume that signs and wonders must be happening here and there when in
actuality they are not happening.

Can we really believe that if a church or an individual ministry were seeing signs/wonders
that they would never talk about it????
That they would not put it on their automatics???
Or on the web????


----------------------




I have no good idea regarding what I see William asking for - a perspective that allows us to
energetically 'soldier on' while we continue to lack a full anointing.

One perspective I do think is important is that, while people soldier on, they stop engaging in "risky faith" in this time
period wherein we do not see expected instant manifestations.

By "risky faith" I mean faith positions that run up against death's door or otherwise
have potentially profound, negative, long-term effects on people's/children's lives.

People should humble themselves enough to admit that things are not working - and modify
their faith boldness.







Jman




____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 75 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72






[Updated on: Thu, 15 March 2012 23:17]






Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8842 is a reply to message #8840 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 09:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
james  is currently offline james
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william wrote on Thu, 15 March 2012 18:47


I must be getting old cause I don't remember where I was going... I'm not even sure why I used that title... I guess it was the PBS special on folk music that had me humming the Kingston Trio hit! <grin> I was battling a fever last week and felt exhausted... maybe that's why I was seeing all of those strange creatures as I was looking out my back door! <grin>


William, William, William...
A fever eh? Maybe that's what Fogerty had when he was writing the song. I'd always thought he was partaking of some chemicals. I guess a fever will cause hallucinations; a giant doing cartwheels and a statue in high heels, happy creatures dancing on the lawn. But if you tell me you just got in from a trip to Illinois that caused the exhaustion...then...Doo, doo, doo keep looking out your back door. Razz

Hey! At least the PBS special and the fever didn't cause you to to start "prophesying". I can hear it now..."But you tell me over and over and over again, my friend. Ah, you don't believe we're on the Eve of Destruction." Barry McGuire nailed it with that song, over 40 years ago and religious people still are predicting the best days are still ahead for America.(Benny Hinn and friends, that is if you'll 'sow' a big seed to TBN)




"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8843 is a reply to message #8841 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 09:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
james  is currently offline james
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wishing34 wrote on Thu, 15 March 2012 20:27



I read here you guys (excepting William) trying to come up with a theory/theology to
explain why it is okay that we don't.

Jman, I'd like to think that if you and I sat down together to talk person to person there'd be less misunderstanding, but alas, we only have this medium and too often we come up short in getting across our thoughts. Believe me when I tell you, I am NOT trying to come up with a theory/theology to explain why it is okay that we don't ...have signs or wonders or prophets or apostles. Nor do I believe brother Ron is of that mindset.

I hope you can create such a theology (a valid one of course). It would be a good help for all of us.

One perspective I do think is important is that, while people soldier on, they stop engaging in "risky faith" in this time
period wherein we do not see expected instant manifestations.

By "risky faith" I mean faith positions that run up against death's door or otherwise
have potentially profound, negative, long-term effects on people's/children's lives.

People should humble themselves enough to admit that things are not working - and modify
their faith boldness.

"Risky Faith"...Jman, I don't have the answer to every problem that confronts Christians today, but I am convinced that true faith in Jesus Christ and His Word is NEVER risky. If you can't trust Him unto death, then answer me this, how can you trust Him unto life(eternal)? Based on comments you've made in other threads it's obvious you have different convictions of how to apply the faith message to day to day life than that which I have(and probably several others here, but I don't speak for anyone except myself.) I don't see where an apostle would be of help unto you, or signs and wonders...faith is within, it's also a gift...ask for it.



"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8844 is a reply to message #8841 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 15:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
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Hi Jman,

I do think that James has a point about the thing you are calling 'risky faith'. We all are called to faith in God and I'm not sure we can effectively determine the line between 'risky faith' and what is otherwise known as plain old faith.

If by 'risky faith' you are meaning 'no faith' for a particular action then you might be more in line with what I believe to be the very nature of faith.

The Romans passage I mentioned earlier indicates that we should exercise gifts 'in proportion' to our faith so I take that to mean that there could be some things that our faith was not ready to take on but I wouldn't call it 'risky faith'... it seems a better designation would be simply to call that a 'lack of' faith.

True faith can't be 'risky'; (although it may seem that way to onlookers) if it is biblical faith then it is always the reasonable course for the Christian... at least that's the way I understand it.

Of course that doesn't mean that there aren't risky situations, there are. But one man's risky situation might be another man's daily bread. This highlights the fact that faith is personal and while we may have seen great personal victories that doesn't always translate to corporate victories on those occasions when our faith has been called upon to extend itself into the lives of others. That is why it is doubly important not to place another person into a position that they may not be ready to embrace--unless our own faith is up to the task of seeing the situation through regardless of whether or not the other is capable of believing.

I know that these things may be related but I think that, for the purpose of examination we might do better to separate our personal faith for healing, answered prayer, etc., from the other issue which is the confirming-signs that should be following those who teach the word.

I listened to the Feb. 5, 2012 message by Tom Hamilton and while I agree concerning the importance of preaching a pure word and the fact that God isn't obligated to 'confirm' that word unless it is pure, I couldn't help thinking that those who purportedly are preaching the pure word are not themselves seeing these 'confirming' signs.

I mean it's easy to say that the reason for the lack of signs (again, I'm making, for the sake of discussion, a distinction between personal victories and those signs and wonders that are, or should be, confirming the pure word) is due to a lack of purity in biblical exposition but that doesn't explain why there is a lack of signs & wonders following those who are claiming biblical integrity.

If it is the doctrine of women wearing the headcovering (to use one example) that is holding back the signs then why are those same signs missing from those groups that do wear the covering?

Is this type of thing really the problem? If we answer yes, then one can only conclude that there is NO ONE who has all of their doctrinal ducks in a row, yet.


Blessings,
William



I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8845 is a reply to message #8834 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 16:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
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Hi JWBTI


JWBTI wrote:

02/03/2012
Jman wrote:
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 34 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72
------------------------------------------------------------ ---------------------------------

So what you are saying Bro Jman ,
Without an Apostle, an no evidence of Signs & Wonders following……..


I think you have broken new ground here JWBTI. You're the first person that I have seen
to actually will say there were no signs and wonders at FA.

I think you are probably right because if there had been we would have all heard about it
at the time.


The work and ministry of Faith Assembly and Hobart Freeman was not of God ?


I am comfortable that I could show Scripturally that an alleged apostle is not of God
if he does not have signs and wonders in his ministry. To take that concept and apply it
to the rest of the fivefold is a new piece of theology to me- and theology that I do
not agree with. Since HEF never claimed to be apostle then the "signs and wonders test"
does not apply to his ministry as your question seems to indicate that it would.




William spoke of John the Baptists, he had no signs


Not applicable - John the Baptist was under a different covenant before the cross.




What about AW Tozer ? Who was his Apostle and where are his signs ?
Was Tozers Ministry of God or of man ?


I am unfamiliar with Tozer.





If we are in need of an Apostle to validate our gifts of ministry (Eph 4,)

This premise does not make sense to me. I do not understand what you are saying
regarding the need of an apostle to validate gifts.

What I have been saying is that something is wrong that we have gone 40 years without an apostle at all.



Then I must ask you …….
Who is your Apostle?

Of course, like everyone else, I do not know of an apostle.





Can we trust what you share if you have none ?


Your question is unclear to me.

I see your question here as being, in a broad sense,
"How valid are you, Jman, if God did not do His Word and bring an apostle into your Christian walk- for decades?

The ramifications of the fact that we have seen no apostles are too scary to consider.
So I like everyone else I stick my head firmly in the sand, cover my ears, and ignore the question.





-----------------


Aside: I remember reading the newsletters from the Azusa Street outpouring. It has been decades
but I remember at that time that I was surprised that there were no signs and wonders at the
Azusa Street outpouring.

I think that is an example where the story gets bigger and better with each retelling and now
we have the legend of Azusa street. They gathered together and prayed and as I recall they rejoiced
whenever someone "prayed through" to become "sanctified" - as in the old Holiness movement.


I have heard reference in our time where people look back at the HEF era of FA and refer to it as if
it were full of signs and wonders. Probably if the world lasts another hundred years people
at that time will hear stories of how we all used to walk on water.

---------------------------

William - regarding having an explanation as to why the signs and wonders are missing - I have no opinion
to offer. I wish I did. If we could identify the reason that the signs and wonders are missing then
we could fix the problem and then we are off to the races.









Jman




____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 76 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72











Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8846 is a reply to message #8834 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 19:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
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Greetings,

With regard to my difference with everyone else concerning whether or not to do what I called
"risky faith" – death's door, etc. . .

Is the following a fair description of our difference?





I say - "under the assumption that things are not working . . . etc, etc ,etc"

You all say - "under the assumption that faith is working normally .. etc, etc, etc"





The difference between us is our primary assumption - I say things are seriously not working
and everyone else does not agree with me on that.


==================================================
this part is edited in as an afterthought.

Might it be accurate that you all would say "Not everything is working
perfectly but our problems are not serious enough to change our ways
regarding the bold, death's door faith walk"

===================================================






Jman




____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 76 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72



[Updated on: Fri, 16 March 2012 19:22]






Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8847 is a reply to message #8846 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 20:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
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Well, if we are talking about our personal faith (not the apostolic signs & wonders) I think most of us would say that 'it is working' at least for the most part. When it doesn't we generally can find the reason for the failure, be it a lack of faith, lack of consecration, sin, etc..

Secondly, in those times when it doesn't work and we do not know why we rarely would charge God with the reason. Our theology is based upon God and not our experience. In other words, we don't adjust our theology based upon whether or not we got an answer to prayer. We just assume that when God has made a promise that any apparent exceptions to the promise must lie within our own limited abilities to ferret out and understand the reasons.

I don't think you are any different in this regard, btw.

We actually have a situation described to us in the gospels where the disciples prayed and believed only to later find out that something else was missing. Jesus didn't back off the faith message when He addressed the situation--He doubled down on it! And after stressing that faith will do the impossible, He tells them that 'this kind cometh not out but by prayer AND fasting.

Quote:

Mat17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

Mat17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Mat17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.


Sometimes we find ourselves in the same situation as the disciples... we know that if we have faith -- NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE (that is our theology) and then we find out that there was another reason for the failure, something that didn't have anything to do with our faith in the promise, but the problem was due to some other limitation (our understanding!).

Jesus first stressed having faith, He didn't say that this was a risky business so you don't need to get so close to the precipice (pun intended), He tells them that they should cast the mountain into the sea, and then finishes up by giving them some useful information that might have given them a different outcome.

That is where we are... we are sure that nothing is impossible when true faith is present but we may not have all the information we need to see a successful outcome. My point is that we shouldn't look at hard cases and think that it is risky to exercise faith, but we should make sure we have our ear to the ground for the possibility that Jesus may be wanting to impart some more knowledge that will assure victory.

In other words, in those risky 'situations' lets make sure that we exercise faith -- double down on that! -- but we also should understand that the spiritual realm is still somewhat of a mystery to us and in those kinds of situations we need to make sure that we are willing to do whatever it takes-- not just mouth some words and call it over.

Am I making any sense?

Blessings,
William


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8848 is a reply to message #8846 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 20:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
james  is currently offline james
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Assumptions...

OK, I'm assuming that we're discussing 'faith seriously not working as it should in the ministry of The Body/Church'; not on a personal level, right? Based on Williams comments, and I concure, concerning the separation between personal experiences of God's faithfulness and the lack of signs and wonders following those who 'teach/preach' (as in the office or gifting we sometimes refer to as the 5-fold ministry). Because I've just experienced His healing in the last couple of months...yet during that time I didn't experience Him heal anyone through me praying for them or anointing them with oil. And during the time that I was experiencing the trial I had a friend and a cousin die from cancer...I prayed daily for both of them, I recovered and they both died.

Now I would think that one could make the argument that if I had real faith it wouldn't have taken almost 3 months to be healed(or maybe if I had true faith I wouldn't have came on here and publicly asked for prayer..or maybe it wasn't my faith that brought the healing but that of one of you guys...btw: once more I say, thank you.) A skeptic might say that 'things aren't working right', I say that I was sick and now I am whole, I say Jesus healed me.

I agree with you Jman about there being a lack of apostles; I agree with you that there is something 'seriously wrong' within the western church(especially the charismatics); I agree that there aren't real signs and wonders following those who call themselves prophets/evangelist/teachers(at least of those I have knowledge of...and that's certainly limited to what I've witnessed in person or by TV/internet/radio); but I don't agree that we should EVER encourage any Christian to shy away from total trust/faith in Jesus Christ as both Saviour and Healer...I say if God's Word plainly states a promise to believers and He says He can't lie...then I say get those promises into your hearts and B-E-L-I-E-V-E them. And if you are at a place in your life where you consider this to be 'Risky', then Jman may I strongly encourage you(or anyone else reading this) to go back to the Cross, get on your knees and ask Jesus for forgiveness for unbelief and get into The Word (Faith comes by hearing The Word) and start obeying HIM. He's not looking for sacrifice, He demands obedience. We won't and can't experience anything of God with sin in our lives...and what's not of faith is sin; doubt is sin.

Having said that, if a person is walking in holiness without unrepented of sin in their lives and God doesn't manifest any signs and wonders at their hand to confirm what they teach...like Ron says, I don't think it means they are false...the false teachers/prophets/apostles are obvious to anyone walking with The Lord plus they are usually the ones giving 'themselves' these titles and trying to convince people to follow them(almost always have a plan for getting your money based on promises of a financial harvest/breakthrough).

I remember Jesus saying this, "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20:29 Now I'm aware that the context of this scripture is concerning Thomas doubting His resurection without having seen Jesus in person. But I think it can be applied to faith as well...blessed are they who will take Him at His Word and believe without having to have it confirmed by signs and wonders.

[Updated on: Sat, 17 March 2012 09:47]


"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8849 is a reply to message #8848 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 20:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Amen James,

I'm not aware of a situation where signs & wonder were present in a ministry that didn't start with that minister's personal faith victories.

Blessings,
William


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8850 is a reply to message #8846 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 20:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
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Jman,

Just wanted to add that I think there is definitely room for a complete examination of our faith, but I don't believe that we should back-off of that faith just because we've run into situations that didn't pan out like we thought.

Quote:

2Cor13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

2Cor13:6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.


Blessings,
William


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8851 is a reply to message #8849 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 21:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JWBTI  is currently offline JWBTI
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Jman wrote:
I have no good idea regarding what I see William asking for - a perspective that allows us to
energetically 'soldier on' while we continue to lack a full anointing.

One perspective I do think is important is that, while people soldier on, they stop engaging in "risky faith" in this time
period wherein we do not see expected instant manifestations.

By "risky faith" I mean faith positions that run up against death's door or otherwise
have potentially profound, negative, long-term effects on people's/children's lives.

People should humble themselves enough to admit that things are not working - and modify their faith boldness.

------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------
Reply:
Give up my risky faith and trust in the gods of medical science ? Nope !
They don’t get instant manifestations.
People die every day in the care of MS.
Does the world and the church stop going to the doctors to try to get help, even when it’s not working? Nope !
They keep pressing in, hoping for a cure, cause that’s all they got !

The Leper in Mt 8 risked it all to get healed.
The Centurion risked it all to get his child healed
The woman with the issue of blood put her life on the line to receive her healing..Mk 5

Brother Jman,
Our heads are not in the sand regarding the matter of signs & wonders.
We know we haven’t obtained Mk 16.…The Book of Acts…The wonderful works of
Jesus John 14. We keep pressing in !

You said:
People should humble themselves enough to admit that things are not working - and modify their faith boldness.
------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------
The Leper did ! The doctors couldn’t help him
The woman with the issue of blood did ! The doctors couldn’t help her !
The Centurion did ! The doctors couldn’t help him !
They modified their faith boldness and humble themselves before God and got Healed !


Ron
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8852 is a reply to message #8851 ] Fri, 16 March 2012 22:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JWBTI  is currently offline JWBTI
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Jman wrote:
I am unfamiliar with Tozer.
-----------------------------------------------------
Reply:
How many years did you attend at FA ?
Brother Freeman made references to his writings on many occasions .


Jman wrote:
I think you have broken new ground here JWBTI. You're the first person that I have seen
to actually will say there were no signs and wonders at FA.

I think you are probably right because if there had been we would have all heard about it
at the time.
----------------------------------------------------------

Reply:
No signs and wonders that compared to the Book of acts.
Healing, miracles, changed lives, supernatural Blessing from God…..Yes….Many !

If you missed the parts about Tozer, you may have missed the other Blessings also.


Ron
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8853 is a reply to message #8845 ] Sat, 17 March 2012 07:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
james  is currently offline james
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wishing34 wrote on Fri, 16 March 2012 15:05



What about AW Tozer ? Who was his Apostle and where are his signs ?
Was Tozers Ministry of God or of man ?


I am unfamiliar with Tozer.




Jman, if you'll take the time to go to the Bulletin Board and scroll down to message #8812 by william on Feb.21,2012, you'll find a link to a free online book by AW Tozer titled "The Knowledge of The Holy". I believe you'll find it edifying and helpful in understanding some of the attributes of God. Also if you'll read some of the posts following that one you'll find some of our thoughts and comments on the book and what Tozer was sharing. It could also be helpful in reminding you(anyone) of just who God is and possibly shine light on some of the things people struggle with concerning having the wrong thoughts about who God is and what He expects of us. As William said when posting the link, if you read it you'll be glad you did...it's not very long.

A couple of quotes from Tozer:

"Any faith that must be supported by the evidence of the senses is not real faith." A W Tozer, The Knowledge of The Holy.

"True faith rest upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie." A W Tozer

"Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now." A W Tozer

[Updated on: Sat, 17 March 2012 10:05]


"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8855 is a reply to message #8834 ] Sat, 17 March 2012 10:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
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Greetings,

William said:
Secondly, in those times when it doesn't work and we do not know why we rarely would charge God
with the reason. Our theology is based upon God and not our experience. In other words, we don't
adjust our theology based upon whether or not we got an answer to prayer. We just assume that when
God has made a promise that any apparent exceptions to the promise must lie within our own limited
abilities to ferret out and understand the reasons.



William – so often and you are the best at getting to the heart of a matter.

I understand the position that says stick to the teaching no matter what because it is the Bible
and that settles it. And then I see something like the missing apostles which is clearly an example
where the Bible did not work. I see what is impossible (failure of the Bible promise) has happened.

Right in front of us we see the example (missing apostles) wherin the Bible did not work (reasons unknown).
Shall we then put the life of our child on the line when "sometimes" the Bible does not work?
I said to don't do "risky faith"until we figure out why it's possible to sometimes not work.

Analogy: I say do not put your child on an elevator if there has been a pattern of elevator crashes
that no one can figure out. Wait until you're sure the elevators always work before you put your child on it.

For most it is unthinkable to adjust our theology. For all of us it is unthinkable that the Bible would fail
as it has with respect to the missing apostles. I am saying something is very wrong. Until we figure out
and correct what is wrong that we should keep ourselves and our children away from elevators.



We actually have a situation described to us in the gospels where the disciples prayed
and believed only to later find out hat something else was missing. Jesus didn't back
off the faith message when He addressed the situation--He doubled down on it! And
after stressing that faith will do the impossible, He tells them that 'this kind cometh
not out but by prayer AND fasting.

Excellent, excellent point. One that I have not seen before.


Once the apostles knew that they needed prayer and fasting then they could
make the changes so that in the future they would not have a failure.

We do not even know why things don't work.
We do not know what changes to make.
Most among us don't even recognize that anything is wrong.

We have a 40 year pattern wherein often people have not been told what problems to correct in order
to avoid faith failures.


I am saying we are aware that sometimes super important things do not work (apostles in this discussion -
past tragedies also matter) so therefore we should adjust our theology and avoid putting our children at risk
until everything does work.

We also are aware that we do not see instant manifestations of God's power.
So if a person is in a "do or die" trial - wherein if a significant instant manifestation
does not happen then someone dies - they are metaphorically driving off a cliff.

As if they know that the brakes are not working on their car
( we are aware that instant manifestations are not working) and yet they
drive their car straight towards a cliff. (people take their child right towards
death's door)

<<<< soundbite response to this section - Let's find out what is wrong and make
the necessary corrections before we practice any more risky faith. >>>>>


Sometimes we find ourselves ......
....
....
.....and call it over.

Am I making any sense?


You have expressed a Biblical position of how things OUGHT to work.
Our 40 year experience tells us that even though we put our ear to the ground during trials
people are not told what to correct to avoid a faith failures. It should work that way. Your theology
is perfect but it does not work that way for us.

That is the heart of my position - our theology is so elegant and so perfect but it does not always work.
So I call for a moratorium on putting people's lives at risk - until things begin to work.

The clearest indicator for when things are beginning to work would be the presence of a real apostle.
This is because a real apostle, since it requires signs and wonders, could not be accidentally faked
by a sincere person.

========================================
William said:

Amen James,

I'm not aware of a situation where signs & wonder were present in a ministry that didn't start with that minister's personal

faith victories.


To which ministry are you referring? . . . that has signs and wonders?


====================================


Is it not negligent for us to encourage brethren to take themselves and their children
up to death's door?

We know that instant manifestations are not happening.
We know that sometimes the clear Bible promise doesn't work(missing apostles).
We do not yet know why we have these problems.

Yet we still encourage each other to use faith up against death's door.

I say there should be a moratorium on "risky faith"

Jman

____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 77 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72






Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8856 is a reply to message #8855 ] Sun, 18 March 2012 10:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
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Quote:

William said:

Amen James,

I'm not aware of a situation where signs & wonder were present in a ministry that didn't start with that minister's personal

faith victories.


To which ministry are you referring? . . . that has signs and wonders?



What about Jack Coe? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTMAplrC7Sk&feature=relat ed

A. A. Allen?

Oral Roberts?

William Branham?

T. L. Osborn?

Kathryn Kuhlman?

Kenneth Hagan?

Which one of these ministries didn't have signs and wonders would be an easier question.

Were they all doctrinally pure? No.
Did they have moral failings? Sure.
Did God use them because they believed? Absolutely.

Jman, you might have a point about faith being risky if we lived in a cessationist dispensation and these kinds of things never happened (you wouldn't have a point theologically speaking but at the very least I'd understand your frustrating cry--Where is the Lord God of Elijah?) but unless one wants to ignore all of these things that have happened or choose to disbelieve because you have a pre-disposition to unbelief, then the onus is on you to prove that these miracles never happened.

If you choose the latter, know this --there is a fine line between that and total unbelief of all of the things we have recorded in the Bible. There is a reason we are called 'believers'.

Should we be discerning? Absolutely. The Bible warns us about the work of the deceiver. However, all of the warnings become moot if all we need to do is deny the miraculous. Under those circumstances we would know that if a miracle did occur we could automatically assume that the devil was at work. That kind of theology would make Satan more powerful than God Himself.

I don't really understand all of the dynamics of unbelief so I can't tell you where the line is to be drawn between one who CANNOT believe that miracles are happening while claiming to be a BELIEVER in the MIRACLE of salvation and those who deny all miracles and have never trusted in Jesus as their saviour but I can tell you that James 1 describes a doubter as one who will NEVER receive ANYTHING from God.

Next, I probably need to say a word to those in our circles who would boldly proclaim that God still is in the business of miracles (the signs and wonders type of miracles) and because of some theological hangups (concerning doctrinal purity, God working through flawed individuals, etc.) effectively DENY those same miracles when they are accomplished through earthen vessels.

I'm not sure that merely acknowledging that the Bible is true and then denying that God is (or has) worked through the legends of our pentecostal faith, is too much different than the cessationist who has effectively gotten to the point in their theology where they can acknowledge the miracles of the Bible while at the same time deny that the same miracles are valid today. Which is a better way to go? I have no answer.

Did Azusa Street usher in a restoration of signs and wonders for our generation? I say yes. You say no. We'll eventually see who is right.

Blessings,
William

[Updated on: Sun, 18 March 2012 10:38]


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8857 is a reply to message #8856 ] Sun, 18 March 2012 13:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JWBTI  is currently offline JWBTI
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Jman said:
William – so often and you are the best at getting to the heart of a matter.

Amen to that !


Thank you William and Amen to the post above !


Ron
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8858 is a reply to message #8834 ] Sun, 18 March 2012 14:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
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Greetings,

hi William.

I said:

To which ministry are you referring? . . . that has signs and wonders?

My bad. I thought you were referring to modern, current ministries.

I see you are referring to the 1950s ministers.

=======================================
In this thread I have been saying my normal thing - that we lack apostles and something is wrong.

I have taken a step forward to say we should have a moratorium on putting peoples'
lives at risk.

I have not been referencing the 1950s as I share my ideas.
Even if past believers would have had everything imaginable working - we still have to deal with us today.

=====================================

The 1950s ministers/miracles are interesting though.

I heard that Jack Coe video of the link that you had.

It might be an interesting back-and-forth as to whether there is anything that is for sure
supernatural on that video.

But that is an entirely new "rabbit to chase" for this thread.

=======================

As to me being obligated to prove that 50-60 year old, alleged miracles did not
happen seems to me to be a little off base.


Your "dynamics of unbelief" paragraph linking a position similar to mine regarding miracles to
the unregenerate is out of character for you.

Pretty counterproductive.

Jman

____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 78 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72






Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8859 is a reply to message #8858 ] Sun, 18 March 2012 16:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
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wishing34 wrote on Sun, 18 March 2012 13:56




Your "dynamics of unbelief" paragraph linking a position similar to mine regarding miracles to
the unregenerate is out of character for you.


Pretty counterproductive.

Jman



Well, I certainly meant no offense there brother. I figured if anyone would take offense it would be those I referenced who claim to believe those kinds of things yet deny the reality of the miracles because of the vessels that were being used.

Also, my apologies if the early examples were not enough to sway you in your thinking about the apostolic signs & wonders.

I certainly believe that those same kind of things are happening in the world today. In most cases there isn't going to be the kind of documentation you are seeking, especially if you have trouble acknowledging that the supernatural character of that type of ministry. (btw, that Jack Coe video was only one of the first I found when I went looking; there are a lot more that people are putting on youtube and other outlets nowadays.)

One common element for the doubters (read the comments) --THEY ARE NEVER SATISFIED!

This isn't a surprise however, because doubters always will be doubters even in the face of evidence to the contrary. It makes one wonder why there are still a few that believe the simple claims made by the writers of that ancient book we hold in our hands. No youtube videos, no doctor affidavits, no living eyewitnesses, nothing but the testimony of a few common folks (dead, to boot) ... that's it. The marvel is that the initial spark of comprehension --that mysterious force that suppresses all logic and reason --it seemingly comes out of nowhere and suddenly we can believe! (... flesh and blood did not reveal this...) Now that is the mystery! But when that simple ability comes our world is turned upside down. The spiritual becomes a reality to us --so much so that we have to be warned against the enemy who can also traffic in such things.

Again, I am sorry to have implicated you in my indictment of the unbelievers; that wasn't my intention. My intention is only to show that one will find it hard to draw a line between those who say they believe and those who are truly unbelievers if there isn't the basic assumption that all of God's Word is absolutely true.

If he says to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover who am I to tell someone that it is risky to believe that?

If God promises apostles and I don't see any among the 6 or so billion people on the planet maybe it because 1) I'm skeptical about the validity of the promise or 2) my lack of omniscience has caused me to overlook them.

Of the two the second option is the only one I'm wired to accept.

Blessings,
William


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8860 is a reply to message #8859 ] Sun, 18 March 2012 20:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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By the way, the new picture is just me doing my part in trying not to scare people away... the old one looked like I was some skeptical dude that wished he was somewhere else... but this one... this one highlights a visionary whose face is set like a flint to the wall (or, depending on your perspective, whose back is against the wall!!). <grin>

Some of you should take the cue and go to the "User cp" (user control panel) and select "settings" and upload your own mug!

Now if we can just get James to post another message on the bulletin board so that the number 666 wouldn't be the defining number for the coffee break section, we might find some people coming back!

Blessings,
William


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8862 is a reply to message #8860 ] Sun, 18 March 2012 22:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
GWB  is currently offline GWB
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Too funny, William!

I will think about a good mug shot for ya!

Also, this has been a good conversation. I do have a bunch of things on my heart to share. I will be doing so very soon. Smile


Shalom,

GWB

"Be still and know that I am God."
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8864 is a reply to message #8834 ] Mon, 19 March 2012 11:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
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Greetings,

It appears those like me are cast in a negative light because we are skeptical about alleged miracles.

Here is a quick list of ways that what looks like miracles would not be actually miracles.
Others who are not as skeptical as I am might be tricked to think something supernatural happened.

Of course such trickery would affect their view of various ministries as well as their view of what God is
currently doing.

=====================================

Ways to imitate signs and wonders:


Appear to grow legs by moving the legs left and right as a person sits with their hips unable to rotate as they
sit in a chair. The movement will make one leg appear to grow longer than other. The effect will reverse
in appearance when you realign the legs.

pray for hundreds and whoever goes into remission naturally then say that your prayer healed them - the rest must
have not met the conditions for answered prayer

have someone who can partially walk get out of their wheelchair for a while - pretend it is total healing

pull a scab off of someone's body and say the cancer fell off and is totally healed

if someone says a tumor is somewhat softer than say the tumor melted away and is totally healed.

Have several strangers try to feel a small, soft tumor through a person's clothing - if they cannot discern it
say that this is proof that the tumor is totally gone

if someone is deaf turn them away from the music source and have them signal when they hear music - feet/skin vibrations
will allow them to sense the music it has a lot of base.

get the crowd into an emotional state - endorphins will make many pains go away
as individuals move about the stage temporarily pain free

pretend someone partially deaf was totally deaf before you prayed - then demonstrate that they can partially hear

same regarding poor eyesight

if ever there is a case of med diagnosis error then claim that the second, healthy diagnosis is because of your prayer

everyone out there prays before they ever get to you - have a secondary methodology that they can try as you pray
with them so they have new hope that your methodology will be the thing that works - placebo effect will occasionally
get you a manifestation. Possible secondary methodologies - get rid of your TV, eat a certain diet, buy a special
vial of anointing oil, give to a building fund, special methodologies for deliverance sessions, and so on.

let the placebo effect cause some people to get better and then claim it was from your prayer

give people a little push on their forehead and many will fall down - after that many more by the power of suggestion

set up a hidden electronic communication device into your ear - have someone relay people's information to you
while you claim it is the word of knowledge - personal information gleaned in the lobby before the meeting


With modern technology the charlatan options are many - Photoshop ailment photos or photos of medical records, holograms
technology will soon, if not already, allow the possibility that people will think they see a completely solid
looking object or person appear on stage and then disappear, supposedly technology has the ability to send
microwave radiation that will cause a person to hear a "real" voice in their head.

Fancy medical drugs could temporarily imitate death- secretly give the antidote while you pray and then when the
person wakes up you have apparently raised the dead.


Probably there are mucho more


After implementing one of the above methods of imitating a supernatural event - from then on in
advertisements, writings, and sermons refer to these past alleged supernatural events to increase credibility.



<<<< No doubt at some point I will stand alone not being willing to believe incredible claims that come from
various ministries. If the supernatural events were fakes originally then the retelling of them does not make them
become true supernatural events. Ministers claims, self serving?, hold little weight with me.

Also I find it suspicious that tremendous things are often claimed in Africa where there is no video nor
medical records. >>>>


Aside: in some of the above cases a minister and the people could be innocently self deceived
that something supernatural happened - so we cannot assume a bad intent.

==============================


Whether we as individuals are on the skeptical side of things or on the gullible side of things we must
represent to the world, fellow believers, and ourselves a practice of Christianity that is real and that works.
We should not promote non-supernatural things as signs and wonders.


Otherwise we do a great disservice to ourselves and others, we sin before God by representing an altered
form of Christianity, and we invite tragedies as others are emboldend to take risks.



With film and cameras available for approx. 100 years, ubiquitous now days, it should be impossible
that there are no videos/film of true signs and wonders - those with no human explanation possible.


================

I might be asked "With such skepticism how will I ever be satisfied that a sign and wonder did happened?"

We live in an age of cameras everywhere. We are talking about promised signs and wonders from God who is
without limit. He can replace a veteran's missing foot as easily as He heals a common cold.
There should be manifestations of the visual power of God on some occasions - such as replaced limbs..


If outward demonstrations of God's power are indeed happening they will be caught on camera at some point
and there will be before and after medical imagery and records.

When I see a pattern of such videos then that will start me
on the path to investigate the ministry/believers that are involved - theology, ethics, God gets the glory, etc.



so I foresee two steps:

1) Worldwide coverage of news, especially Christian oriented organizations, will bring to our attention
when there are verifiable ( videos, medical imagery and records ) demonstrations of God's power -
in ways that have no earthly explanation.

2) research the people involved as far as their theology, ethics, God gets the glory, etc.
( if somebody goes crazy with Photoshop to deceive the world about miracles they will not be able
to fake theology, ethics, God's glory)



by the way – my skepticism is in the normal range not extreme.
It is you all that are not thinking this out clearly.


====================


Jman

____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 79 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72






Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8865 is a reply to message #8864 ] Mon, 19 March 2012 13:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Quote:

by the way – my skepticism is in the normal range not extreme.
It is you all that are not thinking this out clearly.


I'll agree with this, in fact I'll take it a step more and say that anyone who believes in miracles (I'm talking about those who actually expect that the same kinds of things recorded for us in the Gospels and Acts are prone to happen at any given service) are very rare.

Which, as you know from the New Testament, is a perfect prescription for assuring that few if any miracles will actually occur.

Couple that (the unbelief) with the standards that you have set forth (video recording both before and after shots and doctor affidavit) it it any wonder that we don't have that kind of evidence?

I mean, given the wide-spread unbelief that such a thing as a miracle could ever happen in the first place, why would anyone set out to document something they don't believe in, anyway?

I don't know about you, but I don't believe I've ever been in a service where prayer for the sick has been recorded on video, even if cameras are, as you say, ubiquitous.

You've got the same thing in the NT... people getting healed and miracles occurring and you've got Jesus almost hiding Himself in the background --NOT MAKING A BIG PRODUCTION, even though surely there were many more people that could possibly have believed on Him had He done it the way you seem to want it. Yet the ones who believed, did believe and the rest were left with the option of believing the report of the miracles or not.

I have to believe that it is the same for today... if God wants to gather a crowd and prove Himself to them, He is certainly capable, but the 'normal' way that He seems comfortable in implementing, is through the preaching of the Word. He then reveals Himself, secretly as it were, to those disciples He has chosen.

When there are mighty signs and wonders, they are almost always not believed by those who hear about them and sometimes not even the participants believe-- this is --IN AND OF ITSELF --A SIGN!

Signs & wonders are not a good barometer to judge whether or not a person is one of the elect, many who saw the miracles turned away when things didn't go as they had expected. Faith that is based upon un-retouched video is about as shallow as it comes.

Quote:

Luke11:29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.



Blessings,
William

[Updated on: Mon, 19 March 2012 13:34]


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8866 is a reply to message #8864 ] Mon, 19 March 2012 14:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
james  is currently offline james
Messages: 1932
Registered: April 2008
Location: Birmingham, AL
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wishing34 wrote on Mon, 19 March 2012 10:43



No doubt at some point I will stand alone not being willing to believe incredible claims that come from
various ministries.



Not much confidence in your brethren there Jman. Where you get the idea that "all of you" are caught up in being deceived by false ministries, I have no clue. If you ever took the time to read others threads and posts you'd find that there are people here who do not endorse the vast majority of ministries out there claiming whatever it is they're claiming. Some here spend quite a bit of time an energy exposing the false prophets and teachers(see Lakeland/Bentley thread); there's enough to write a small book.

But........I'd caution against allowing the skepticism to get to where you can't believe anything is of God. I believe The Bible works, I believe God watches over His Word to perform it...the fact that charlatans attempt to deceive Christians to fleece them of their finances or to boost their own names, doesn't mean or prove that God doesn't honor His Word or work through men. The lack is in the character and faith of men; when men walk humble, holy, and in the presence of God...people will know.


"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8867 is a reply to message #8864 ] Mon, 19 March 2012 16:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
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Quote:

Here is a quick list of ways that what looks like miracles would not be actually miracles.
Others who are not as skeptical as I am might be tricked to think something supernatural happened.


By your own standards not one of the miracles of the Bible, including those recorded in the book of Acts, have enough evidence to be accepted. Even those who saw the miracles of Moses have plausible deniability because the magicians replicated most of the signs.

As far as being 'tricked', that can only happen if the basis of your faith relies on the validity of what you see and hear. Hopefully, our faith, if it is 'true', transcends the realm of the obvious. No one is denying the fact that many things can be faked, only a fool would think otherwise-- but everything we receive from God has the potential of being explained away by the doubting mind. Tongues, salvation, healing... everything can be explained away by a doubter who doesn't want to believe.

Does God exist? Of course. Can I prove it to anyone? No.

If you can't believe without physical evidence, you can't believe. Faith/belief ceases when physical proof is proffered. It's no longer needed.

I guess this is why I find this conversation so frustrating, on the one hand we rightly lament the lack of apostles or signs, but then to go further and yoke a lack of faith to the lack of signs and then say that we need absolute proof before we can have faith --that's madness!!

A lack of faith may indeed be the reason for the lack of miracles, but I can assure you that lack of faith is not going to be remedied by the physical proof of some miracle happening somewhere.

If a lack of miracles is due to a lack of faith then the ONLY way a miracle is going to happen is if someone has faith enough to believe it BEFORE it happens.

If a baby is dying you can have faith in man, or you can have faith in God... all I'm saying is that it is far less 'risky' for me to place my faith in God at that point than it is to place my faith in man.

Man may have a few videos that show the successful removal of a tumor, I can choose to put my trust in their ability to duplicate their feat one more time on me, OR I can choose to believe that the God that created me is more capable of removing that tumor, by believing, not in a video, but in a living Word that I happen to have faith in.

I trust the one I'm more comfortable in trusting -- not because I have proof that they've done it before -- but because I believe Him to be a more reliable source for that type of operation.

The reason (I suppose) that you call it risky to trust one method and not the other is not because of the word of the doctor over the word of the Living God, it's because you have proof that the preponderance of evidence will show that one method has a success rate of say 50% or higher and unless and until you have evidence (videos, etc.) that God has at least as good of a track record as the doctors, you're not going to go with just His Word. Essentially you are saying that the odds are in your favor to go with the track record that has the most physical evidence. Your faith is in the physical evidence and I'm saying that faith is the evidence of things NOT SEEN. We are talking apples and oranges here.

That's why James, Ron, and myself are having such a hard time understanding your position. There is no such thing as 'risky' faith in our understanding of the whole concept of faith. We either believe, or we do not. We have faith, or we do not have faith. Hence it is perfectly logical for us to link faith for healing and faith for salvation-- both are based upon words written in a book. If it is 'risky' to have faith in the healing parts, it is also just as 'risky' to have faith in the salvation part. I think the reason you don't see this as a disconnect is because you have no physical (nothing in the medical journals) evidence of a heaven even though you do have those words written in the aforementioned book. So, due to the lack of evidence to the contrary, you decide to believe the book. The odds are in your favor because there is no physical evidence to suggest otherwise... actually there are plenty of logical reasons that suggests that death is final (decaying flesh) but for some reason you choose to ignore that and continue to believe in the afterlife. It seems a bit of a stretch to believe some of the words and not all of them.

Please don't be offended at this -- I'm not saying you aren't saved, I'm sincerely trying to understand your position concerning faith and show you why we are saying the things we are saying.

Blessings,
William


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8868 is a reply to message #8834 ] Mon, 19 March 2012 18:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
Messages: 212
Registered: March 2009
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Here is my line of thought:


If the Bible worked for us every time what you guys are saying
is how it would be and I would be saying the same thing also - agreeing
with you guys.

But since we are living in a time where the Bible does not always work for us
I am calling for a moratorium on death's door faith attempts until we understand
why it does not always work.


Examples of how the Bible does not always work for us are

missing apostles with signs and wonders,
missing ICor 12 power gifts such as the gift of healings,
and the lack of demonstrations of the power of God in the form of visible instant manifestations(missing limbs
restored for an example)
====================

Factor in the 40 year track record of death's door faith failures both in the lives of persons
much respected and in the lives of people maybe not respected so much.


My call for a moratorium on death's door faith makes sense.

========================


===========================

If you have a spiritual mentor in your life ask the following questions -


Is it not true that real apostles, ICor 12 power gifts - do not work for us?

If they say yes it does work - please report back here we would all like to know details.

If they admit it does not work - ask them why you should put your sick child's life
into a do or die situation when we do not understand why things do not always work.


Possible response : "The Bible says ...( Insert our theology here) ..... Therefore the sick child will recover"

Response: But the Bible also promises regarding real apostles, ICor 12 power gifts. - And they do not work!
So something is wrong.


=========================

Many believe we can soldier on without apostles and without first Corinthians 12 power gifts.

But you cannot soldier on without your child.

==========================

I repeat my call for a death's door moratorium until we know why things are not working.

By the way – someone functioning as an overseer of God's flock should agree with this
moratorium as part of his caretaking for the flock and looking out for their best interest and safety.
Admit that something is wrong between us and God. Let's figure it out. Let's fix it.
And then we are off to the races.



Jman


____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 79 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72






Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8869 is a reply to message #8868 ] Mon, 19 March 2012 19:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1188
Registered: January 2006
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Quote:

But since we are living in a time where the Bible does not always work for us
I am calling for a moratorium on death's door faith attempts until we understand
why it does not always work.



What would you say is an example of something that has worked for us in the Bible?

Blessings,
William


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8870 is a reply to message #8834 ] Mon, 19 March 2012 21:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
Messages: 212
Registered: March 2009
Senior Member
Greetings,



William said :

What would you say is an example of something that has worked for us in the Bible?




=============



How about Rom 10:13 ?

And mix in a some Ephesians 2:8

Jman




____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 79 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72









Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8871 is a reply to message #8870 ] Mon, 19 March 2012 21:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1188
Registered: January 2006
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wishing34 wrote on Mon, 19 March 2012 20:42

Greetings,



William said :

What would you say is an example of something that has worked for us in the Bible?




=============



How about Rom 10:13 ?

And mix in a some Ephesians 2:8

Jman




____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 79 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72







That's kinda my point... you've given me an example of something that has yet to be proven with physical evidence.

Got more?


Blessings,
William


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8872 is a reply to message #8834 ] Mon, 19 March 2012 22:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
Messages: 212
Registered: March 2009
Senior Member
hi William,
What is your point?
Just express a concept of what is on your mind.

Jman
____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 79 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72






Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8873 is a reply to message #8872 ] Mon, 19 March 2012 22:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1188
Registered: January 2006
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Well, you are saying we need to back off because 'it's not working'.

The reason you know it's not working is because you have no physical evidence.

How do you know you are saved? You have no physical evidence.

That is the point... I think that your thinking is flawed.

That's why I asked you to give me an example from the bible where you have concrete evidence that it is working.

I'm just trying to understand where you draw the line with your faith.

Blessings,
William


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8874 is a reply to message #8834 ] Tue, 20 March 2012 00:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
Messages: 212
Registered: March 2009
Senior Member
hi William,

Well, you are saying we need to back off because 'it's not working'.

What I am actually saying is that we should call a moratorium on death's door faith attempts
because parts of the Bible do not work for us and if the faith at deaths door part
happens to fail then someone dies . . . . again.



The reason you know it's not working is because you have no physical evidence.

Fair enough. The missing physical evidence is missing apostles and missing
I Cor 12 power gifts.
These things do not work for us as the Bible would indicate that they should.



How do you know you are saved? You have no physical evidence.

By faith because the Bible says so. Earlier I thought you indicated that maybe
I refuse the Bible miracles because I refuse modern alleged miracles.

The Bible miracles are real because they are in the Bible. And the prime, most basic assumption
for me is that Christianity is defined by the Bible - Textus Receptus and Masoretic text.





That is the point... I think that your thinking is flawed.

That's why I asked you to give me an example from the bible where you have concrete evidence that it is working.


As I said above the concrete evidence for Bible miracles is that they are in the Bible.

For me concrete evidence that the same miracles indeed happened today would have to be that
there is no possible earthly explanation for what happened. This fits the "wonder" part of
signs and wonders.



I'm just trying to understand where you draw the line with your faith.


My perspective regarding all this is that I recognize the missing supernatural
at the point of the apostles and I Corinthians 12. I also realize that we do not see
outward, immediate, visual manifestations to prayer.

At that point I ask myself what for sure supernatural stuff do we see?

Then I realized whatever is happening, whatever the proper understanding is - something is very
wrong and unscriptural.

Notice I responded above with salvation and mixed in grace. I think we
need to count on God's grace if our salvations are going to be effective. Of course
that is theology 101 but I mean we are at the opposite end of the spectrum from the
elite super right on people that we once thought we were - I believe we are all getting in
by the skin of our teeth - mucho emphasis on God's grace.

---

Maybe I am rambling ideas you did not mean to ask about.

To touch on another concept I think I have seen from you over the years -I do not look to see
the supernatural in order to believe. I believe, take the Bible exactly literal, and then am
upset that the promised supernatural stuff, which should be Church 101 (fundamental and basic),
does not happen.


Add to the mix that since I am aware that we lack the apostles and the first Corinthians 12 power gifts
and I am aware that these should be Church 101 basic stuff, and since I am aware that we have
had many faith tragedies over the years, I call for the moratorium in the attempt to save
lives until we get things working properly.

Yes, I realize that I am circumscribing the basic faith message to be used only on
"non-risky" things but if things don't always work then we should stop being "risky"
until we figure out why - like using an elevator that sometimes crashes and we cannot figure out why.



It is after midnight. More tomorrow if you want.

Jman
____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 80 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72






Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8875 is a reply to message #8874 ] Tue, 20 March 2012 08:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1188
Registered: January 2006
Senior Member
Administrator
Quote:

To touch on another concept I think I have seen from you over the years -I do not look to see
the supernatural in order to believe. I believe, take the Bible exactly literal, and then am
upset that the promised supernatural stuff, which should be Church 101 (fundamental and basic),
does not happen.

Add to the mix that since I am aware that we lack the apostles and the first Corinthians 12 power gifts
and I am aware that these should be Church 101 basic stuff, and since I am aware that we have
had many faith tragedies over the years, I call for the moratorium in the attempt to save
lives until we get things working properly.



Okay, here is what I hear you saying:
1) You don't need the supernatural to believe.
2) You believe.
3) What you believe is not working.
4) How do you know? The supernatural is missing (see #1 above).
5) Stop believing until the supernatural is found.


I'm sorry if I'm not comprehending something, but that is the way it is coming off to me.

Blessings,
William

[Updated on: Tue, 20 March 2012 08:29]


I want to believe!
Re: Where have all the people gone... [message #8876 is a reply to message #8834 ] Tue, 20 March 2012 16:59 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
wishing34  is currently offline wishing34
Messages: 212
Registered: March 2009
Senior Member
Greetings,


Williams said:

Okay, here is what I hear you saying:
1) You don't need the supernatural to believe.


I do not need the supernatural to believe the Bible.

I do need the supernatural to believe that brother XYZ is an apostle - he needs to have the signs of an apostle.
I do need the supernatural believe that a supernatural thing has happened (ex. ICor 12 healing gift)






2) You believe.
3) What you believe is not working.


the missing apostles, missing ICor 12 power gifts, and expected demonstration
of God's power generally (ex -occasional instant ,visible manifestation as people
pray as they live their lives) - all are not working. They are missing.





4) How do you know? The supernatural is missing (see #1 above).


maybe this concept is key:

I do not need to see the supernatural to believe what the Bible says.


I do need to see the supernatural to believe that apostles and ICor 12 power gifts are happening today.

-------


Consider in Rev 2:2 where they judged those that claim to be apostles but actually they were not apostles.
Obviously in order to make a judgment about an apostle you must see the "signs of an apostle."
So you would not believe that a guy is an apostle until you see the supernatural.








5) Stop believing until the supernatural is found.


stop believing up against death's door until things are working.


=======












Jman




____________________
At the time of this post . . .
FA, the satellites, the spinoffs,and the FA diaspora have been having church
without apostles for 40 years and 80 days.
Initial start date 1/1/72












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