Live Supernatural TV On Its Way

Thanks to Teddy for making us aware of this article, about Andrew Kubala’s plans to host a new Christian TV show to demonstrate the power of the supernatural live. If you go to the link, you can hear Andrew Kubala talk about their plans, and below are the producers’ notes:

NOTES FROM THE PRODUCERS

Television is very different these days, we have a much wiser audience who have ‘seen it all’.
Todays television audiences are choosing reality TV over drama and other formats.
Australia’s number one show last year’s number was ‘Master Chef’ topping over 4.5 million viewers for their finale show.

Reality Television gives the viewer the opportunity to go on the journey with the participant.
We see ordinary people in extreme situations, giving the viewer an inside look into these peoples struggles and triumphs.
The viewer sees themselves in their shoes and lives the journey alongside them.

This concept is a perfect opportunity to show and demonstrate the power of the supernatural.

The idea is to showcase the prayer, the power of healing and words of knowledge in a television studio setting with a live audience. Then interviewing the person that was prayed for in a one on one interview immediately afterwards.
This interview would be edited together with the footage filmed in front of the live audience.

Hearing the story of the person as they are experiencing the ‘hand of God’ explained in their own words,
and also seeing the supernatural happen at the same time is a very powerful and convincing encounter.

To my knowledge this has not been attempted before on christian television or any television for that matter.
This will be pitched at the non believer but interested viewer.

This is a bold move for Andrew Kubala and his team, but I believe he has the passion and commitment to see this through.
His relaxed presentation approach and style is perfect for this medium.

I see this program as leading a shift in Christian Television programming.

In some ways, this is a risky move – but perhaps people would differ on where the risks are. What do you think of this groundbreaking kind of Christian television? What kind of impact is it likely to have? Is it a wise, exciting, foolish or cynical thing to do? Does it depend upon the viewer?

**********************
RavingPente – but item sent in by Teddy


323 thoughts on “Live Supernatural TV On Its Way

  1. “The idea is to showcase the prayer, the power of healing and words of knowledge in a television studio setting with a live audience. Then interviewing the person that was prayed for in a one on one interview immediately afterwards. This interview would be edited together with the footage filmed in front of the live audience.”

    “Hearing the story of the person as they are experiencing the ‘hand of God’ explained in their own words, and also seeing the supernatural happen at the same time is a very powerful and convincing encounter”

    Step right up folks and see the “Barnum and Bailey” god. This makes me sick to my stomach. What happens when God doesn’t turn up and perform on cue?

  2. I’ve been around church long enough to see many dear friends claim healing after Andy and others have prayed for them and it’s come to naught. They are so afraid to say “nothing happened” standing up there on the stage. They fall over deliberately, lying to themselves and to the Holy Spirit. They get caught up in this madness, and then begin to doubt that God can even heal at all! The few that do say nothing’s happening get prayed over again and pushed over and then are told they ARE healed!!

    Let’s be honest here folks, we all believe God heals sovereignly as He wishes but this is pushing the envelope too far.

    And of course we can all testify to getting involved in one on one prayer for different people and God does amazing things. Am I against corporate prayer? NO! But this troubles me deeply.

    But they will say God “spoke” to them and told them to do this – well, I can then claim that God “spoke” to me and said He didn’t!

  3. And as many people have said before and will say again to these “healing ministries” – “Andy and Janine, go into the hospitals, go into the streets, the highways and the byways and prayer for the sick, it doesn’t cost a penny” – and God will get the glory and be glorified.

  4. Have you tried to get into the hospitals lately, teddy? The PC police are liable to stop you these days. You can only go in with the permission of the patient, the staff and the chaplain if they have one. We had a person working amongst the sick in our local hospital, until they requested an onsite chaplain who monitored all church related visitors, so he was vetoed, even though he and his wife did a wonderful job of comforting people. They appointed traditional church chaplains, of course, who barely believe in healing. Now you can’t go in unless requested by family. Which is reasonable, but it puts paid to the idea of going into hospitals uninvited. In fact, where can you go publicly, these days, without a huge set-up?

    At the risk of being called arrogant for quoting the Bible, I’m reminded of Jesus when he went into his home town and could do no mighty miracles there, only cure a few minor ailments, because of the unbelief. They saw the carpenter’s son and doubted!

    I think anyone who offers healing and relief in the name of Jesus, especially publicly, should be given a chance before the critics bear down on them. Either Jesus heals today or he doesn’t.

    The Kubalas have been ministering for some time, so they must feel confident to step out. If they have even a small amount of success, then some people will have had their lives changed for the better.

    When medicine and science, which is wonderful, but limited, can meet the needs of every patient, then we’ll dismiss the need for all other means of healing. Until then, let’s see if the love of God can get into some people’s lives through this ministry.

    If the idea of this program makes you sick, perhaps you need to tune in for healing! 😀

    It’s possible this is the one way a ministry can actually get into hospitals to release healing these days!

  5. I’m really not interested in the C3 “terms of agreement with anything they do” that you operate under, FL.

  6. Well I just watched the video again, and my lower neck pain was healed as I viewed it, and my kids seemed even happier! I am sure that this had nothing to do with the gin and tonic I’ve just finished, and the fact that I was grooving around to the music as I watched.

    In fact, they can’t go into hospitals, because the hospitals won’t let them play appropriate music through the sound system to get people’s faith and expectation up.

    I will probably watch the show at least once to bring back nostalgic memories of C3 (PP’s one).

    I don’t think it will be necessary for anyone to push anyone over. If the audience is keen, it will all flow along nicely.

    It is very unlikely however to prove anything to anyone watching for proof of healing. The use of leg lengthening miracles in the advertisement unfortunately does not do them favours.

  7. I hope God gets a copy of the schedule, just in case He’s made other arrangements.

    By the way, has anyone noticed that the scriptures say “gifts” of healing not the “gift” of healing.
    It a gift to the recipient, not a gift bestowed upon a man to make him a “healer”.

  8. Testimony is a very powerful tool in healing. The most effective ministers use testimony, worship and the Word to introduce the ministry, build faith and expectation.

    We announced and held a dedicated healing meeting just a few weeks ago, RP, and I was led of the Spirit to begin what I term Holy Ghost ‘chiropractic’ session, something I hadn’t done for some time, where we pray for the alignment of a person’s body to be healed. There was a tangible presence of God, a steady stream of ministry, with people staying on longer than usual, followed by excellent reports of instant healings, directly after, and subsequent to, the meeting. I even got a couple of chairs out to allow God to ‘grow legs’, which is actually a realignment of the back.

    Most of us have poor deportment, or develop ailments from injuries over time. Back pain and strain causes bad deportment as much anything, affecting different parts of our body, including the illusion of one leg shorter than the other. We were amazed by te degree to which the healings took place, and how instant the results were.

    In one case you could hear and feel bones cracking into place in a man’s back. I asked him if he noticed what was happening, and he said that he felt the bones cracking, and the relief that followed. Amazing. Don’t ask me how it works. I just know that when you step out in faith the Holy Spirit backs up the ministry.

    I’m mostly interested in seeing people get well, so I don’t mind what people say about this kind of ministry. It’s the fruit that counts.

  9. Personally I like “risky moves”. If God wants the show – it will be good. However, risky moves reqire wisdom, I’ve never known God to need a show or a platform to be built for Him. I’d need to be extremely sure that God wanted me to do a TV show to go forward with the idea.

    And with hospitals, He doesn’t even always need organised ministries. Hospitals are full of ministering Christians that do an amazing work for Him.

    Like most things, when it works = thats great. If not, it gives us something to talk through with non-believers.

  10. teddy,
    ‘I’m really not interested in the C3 “terms of agreement with anything they do” that you operate under, FL.’

    What terms of agreement would that be?

    ‘If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?’

    Walking in love with your brothers and sisters in God isn’t always agreeing with everything. I’m in covenant, not under control.

  11. The leg-pulling stunt, oh dear, how easily are people fooled with that one.

    “Here is the simple basis for why this short-leg growth trick always works as it does; people don’t sit perfectly straight when they sit down. They usually lean slightly toward one ass cheek or another and in fact it is hard to sit perfectly straight and balanced even when ordered to do so. Uneven weight distribution causes ones pelvis to tilt slightly, which of course also affects how long your legs APPEAR to be relative to each other. If you don’t understand this, you should probably read a first year anatomy book before proceeding.

    So when the mark/victim/subject holds his/her legs out straight, the pelvis angle will make it appear that one leg is shorter than another. When the “healer” tugs on the legs it causes the victim to shift his/her weight and sit straighter, changing the angle of the pelvis, so the short leg “grows.”

    In the command (no touch) method of this trick, there is some loud declaration of a miracle happening right now! This is screeched so that the victim/subject/mark will lean forward to see if his her leg is actually growing – it is the leaning forward that causes the victim/mark’s weight to shift so the miraculous “growth” can occur.”

    Led by the Spirit, to preach the gospel is your job isn’t it FL? This reminds me of the Patricia Kings, Bill Johnsons etc etc. I’m sorry but I’m not buying it. You emotionally prepared the people too. This is about you not God

  12. You know what makes me angry with all this FL, is that there are probably people sitting in your church or in churches nearby desperate to see God heal their dying husband, wife or child, and you say “I was led by the Spirit to begin a Holy Ghost “chiropractic” session. That’s a mockery of what God can and does do if He sovereignly chooses. Can you imagine someone going home to that dying loved one that didn’t get healed yet apparently sees legs growing out and bones popping! What are they left with, a seeming lack of faith on their part? That’s projecting an uncaring God.

  13. The stated aim of the program is not to heal people, but to get people to believe in God.

    “I believe that this TV show is going to be so significant because people are going to believe, perhaps for the first time, that God is real.” – Andrew Kubala, “Believe with Andrew Kubala”

    I dont think showing any type of miracle is going to have much affect on people believing one way or the other. There will always be a mundane explanation for the miracle.

    In fact I think if it was as easy as that, then God would be perfectly able to put on an even greater show, without the latest technology and talent. The problem is not one of lack of advertising. He dosent need us to promote Him to the world.

    It might be done with the best intentions, but using miracles to get people to believe in God will lead to complications. Other people might be able to perform miracles too, should we then believe in their Gods?

  14. @ wazza2

    “The idea is to showcase the prayer, the power of healing and words of knowledge in a television studio setting with a live audience. Then interviewing the person that was prayed for in a one on one interview immediately afterwards. This interview would be edited together with the footage filmed in front of the live audience.”

    Very problematic, especially, as I said before, if God doesn’t “perform” on cue.

  15. @ wazza2 – I feel led to have a “Holy Ghost” prayer meeting for all broken printers next week.

  16. I don’t think there will be a problem with interviews where God has not performed, because only people who show some kind of excitement about being healed will be interviewed, and on the spot.

    I agree with wazza:
    “I dont think showing any type of miracle is going to have much affect on people believing one way or the other. There will always be a mundane explanation for the miracle.”

    People really have to know or be connected with someone personally to be convinced of a healing miracle if they don’t just automatically believe whatever they see. This program will probably attract interested people to the churches that host it, but most questioning people won’t just believe because of what they see on TV. Its not personal enough, and people are used to seeing all kinds of things on TV shows which aren’t real, then stepping back into their real world the next day.

    There would be controversy if you put a show like this on air on commercial TV, but putting it on the Christian channel is unlikely to do so. I’m not sure how many non-believers would watch the Christian channel, but there must be the occasional seeker.

    I think its most likely to result in PR amongst Christians for the ministry and churches that host it.

    Having said all that – yes, we don’t need shows; nothing wrong with having the occasional meeting where people can feel comfortable asking for prayer for healing and so forth. Leg lengthening miracles though are frequently about showmanship, and they are the kind of thing that a whole congregation can participate in with a significant percentage appearing to see legs ‘grow’. It’s great that FL’s person felt bones cracking etc; however for that particular miracle type, there are a lot of imaginary possibilities. Its not really the kind of miracle that would convince a skeptic, and doesn’t add to their credibility, though they are quite likely to be sincere about what they think happens.

    Also, these meetings do heighten the celebrity of the ministers involved, and especially if appeals for money are then made, can result in ‘peddling the gospel’.

    Having said that, I think its good to encourage people to pray for healing to happen. Perhaps people involved in these things are more likely to then pray and pray persistently for others around them because they believe that God really is interested enough in us to respond to prayer, and they will then see some of those prayers answered in people they know. They won’t feel embarrassed or hesitant about asking for prayer either, and that is good. Maybe this is one of the ways in which God can use this for good. It is better than believing that our all powerful God can’t or won’t answer our prayer and seeing Him in the distance all the time.

    Re hospitals – I know of someone who has seen many people saved through visiting in hospitals. They have a gift and calling in that area. A door to this kind of thing may be opened or closed by the Lord. There will always be opportunities allowed by Him, regardless of anyone’s policy. Just like healing, opportunities to share the gospel can happen anywhere, anytime and involve any of us who are willing and there.

  17. We have an intensive care nurse in our bible study group who has many opportunities to pray. She is a “conservative” Christian who loves to pray at any time, with confidence and assurance that God watches over His Word to perform it. No showmanship, just that quiet confidence and trust.

  18. This TV programme wants to operate under the premise, it seems, that God will “perform”. Past experience with this particular congregation, (and that’s where it’s being produced), is that they have a bad habit of “claiming” something that hasn’t, and doesn’t, happened. I’ve seen pastors do it too.

  19. teddy,
    ‘That’s a mockery of what God can and does do if He sovereignly chooses.’

    What if he choses to heal this way?

    Are you saying that I should stop praying for those who are not currently on their death beds, but are sick or weak of infirm because I might offend the relatives of those who may be dying?

    Are you saying I don’t know how to minister to the dying, or have any sensitivity to their needs, or the family’s needs?

    Are you asking me to stop prayer for the sick on the basis that I might upset someone who isn’t healed instantly?

    I’ll tell you this: it’s far more difficult to pray for the sick in a place where every move is ‘reasoned’ away by sceptics, and faith is given back seat. In places where faith is at its highest, and hospital care at its least available, we really see the miracles.

    God is sovereign. He sovereignly sent us out to heal the sick and cast out demons. One miracle can actually change an entire clan forever.

    The true mockery is unbelief.

  20. I’ve personally never met an “unbeliever” who has knocked back prayer. In fact, I’ve found them more humble and willing than many Christians who don’t even want to “admit” (demonstrating so-called lack of faith)they are sick. That’s the climate we came out of at C3.

  21. “Skepticism is an approach to accepting, rejecting, or suspending judgment on new information that requires the new information to be well supported by evidence”.

    That works for me.

  22. But you mocked genuine, decent Christian men and women who testified to being healed, even though you were not present at the meeting. That is not healthy scepticism.

    Their testimony flies in the face of your criticism. Jesus faced sceptics also, but I don’t think he praised them. He cajoled them for their unbelief. He was not always gentle about unbelief, unless he was coaxing or coaching someone, like Jairus, through it. On the other hand he praised faith. He rewarded faith.

    I can tell you for a fact that I couldn’t heal anything except maybe put a band-aid on a cut. I’m nothing without Jesus. I can’t even tell you how people were made well during that ministry time. I’m not really interested in the why or wherefore. I’m interested in people recovering.

    My Bible says, ‘lay hands on the sick and they shall recover’. Jesus said this to believers. What else would I do but follow the instruction?

    Why should we be upset if someone gets offended for any reason because we, or others, obey Jesus’ instruction to believers, anymore than we should be offended if people refuse to accept the gospel when we preach it to them?

    Is their offence a reason to stop obeying Christ? Are we here to please men or God?

    No one we minister to is asked to deny sickness, or disease, or anything which is ailing them. They are encouraged to trust God, and believe what he says in his Word in regard to healing.

    I’d like your take on working of miracles and how it happens.

  23. Well, Mark 16:14-20 was given and experienced by the apostolic community (Matt 10:1, 2 Cor 12:12), not to all believers in all ages.

    But then Rhema probably had a different take on that.

  24. My “mocking” as you call it is specifically directed at claims of Holy Ghost “chiropractic” sessions.

    Vain imaginations.

  25. ‘Vain imaginations’ You weren’t there! I will, for the present attempt to work with you to help you see that it was nothing of man, the healings were genuine, and people expressed what they received, which was relief.

    “Chiropractic’ merely means adjustment of posture, misalignment of joints, particularly the spinal column, and related back corrective ailments which were present. What occurred is not literally ‘chiropractic’, as in alternative medicine, manipulation of bodies through human means. That was the best way I could find, with my limited diction, to describe what happened.

    I thought you’d understand that, rather than be dismissive of terms, for which I apologise to the Holy Ghost. I wouldn’t want to stumble anyone by use of poor terminology.

    The truth is that the Holy Spirit moved amongst the people and they were healed, mostly of back, shoulder, hip and related ailments, muscular, nervous and skeletal.

    Mark 16:14-20 is addressed to believers, not just the apostolic community. he is addressing those he sent to go into all the world to preach the gospel…

    ‘…AND…These signs shall follow those that BELIEVE, in my name they will…’ etc.

    Otherwise you would have to say that being sent to ‘go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’ only referred to the apostolic community of that age. I think that is an instruction of Christ given until he comes again.

    Rhema was an age ago. My understanding of the Word is shaped by the Word. And was then.

  26. Well, no it isn’t, teddy. In fact, it is such good theology that I have seen it at work. I am believer. What else would i do but follow the instructions of Christ?

    If you are going to follow the teaching of cessationists, you will end up with their thinking.

  27. Put the verses back in their context FL – Jesus is addressing these words to the disciples. When he says to them, “These signs will accompany those who believe,” he is speaking directly to them.

    These are the authenticating signs of an APOSTLE, accompanying those who first went out with the gospel into an unsaved world. Confirmation given with these words…….

    Mark 16:19-20 “So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them [the disciples] and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.”

    Since Christ’s resurrection millions of people have been converted to the the gospel, and none of these signs have appeared.

    Spurious claims have made that these signs have been manifested, but if so, then the signs would be everywhere. But if the truth be told, they are very rarely, if ever, seen.

  28. I was listening to ABC Radio National this morning, and someone was talking about an Arts project he did with some aboriginal artists. He got them to paint on old dialysis machines. One artist painted the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (symbolically as semi-circles) around the doctors.

    We tend to think of the secular scientific world and the spiritual as quite separate, but other cultures may not see that at all. They see it all as part of a whole, and that the spiritual aspects of life are involved in both getting sick as well as healing.

    We dont need to place God in opposition to the medical system, He is part of that and has created and sustains it. It is part of His provision of healing for us.

    So if people get well in a prayer service it should be cause for celebration and thankfulness, but also if they get well in a hospital we should be just as thankful to God. Also if they dont get well then we have to deal with that and keep our faith.

  29. Facelift: “The Kubalas have been ministering for some time, so they must feel confident to step out.”

    In watching them progress in C3 leadership, they’ve said all the right things, done the right things, smiled brightly, given people what they want and are now marketing themselves well again. They would have cuddled in nicely beside Phil Pringle. They whip out Andrew Kubala for good old fire and brimstone tithe teaching. He is a promoter of greed, fear and condemnation.

  30. “We dont need to place God in opposition to the medical system, He is part of that and has created and sustains it. It is part of His provision of healing for us.

    So if people get well in a prayer service it should be cause for celebration and thankfulness, but also if they get well in a hospital we should be just as thankful to God.” – wazza

    Amen.

  31. I don’t think anyone is talking about a medicine vs healing divide. Medicine does what it can, and continues to progress, but it isn’t a cure-all. However we are thankful for healing any way it comes.

    Teddy, cessationist teaching is very similar to what you’re teaching here about the gifts and signs ending when the Apostles died. There is no scripture and never has been any scripture to back up this error.

    If Mark 16 is only speaking to Jesus’ Apostles, should we ignore the command to preach the gospel to every creature, since this was, according to your theology finished when the last of Jesus’ Apostles died?

    Didn’t Jesus command his disciples to teach converts everything he had commanded them?

    Besides which, the passage in Mark 16 talks about believers doing things in his name, not just Apostles.

    You say none of these signs; healing, deliverance, tongues and divine protection, are evident today, nor have been for a very long time. This a nonsense. All occur every day. These signs are constantly taking place. I could give you testimony after testimony of God’s goodness and grace on the lives of people he’s sent us to minister to. Healings and deliverance are real and current.

    I am absolutely certain I have witnessed them in many places. If you don’t believe, though, you are hardly likely to see any of them.

    Personally, it makes no real difference to me what you want to believe, in regard to signs as outlined in Mark 16. I am fully persuaded, and totally believe what Jesus is saying applies to today, and have witnessed all of them with my own eyes, especially in places where the kind of medicine and hospital care we enjoy here is not available, and the people are somewhat more in need of healing.

    Holding the limp, fevered bodies of small infants in your arms, ravaged by incurable malaria in places where it is rife, is the most tragic thing you can experience. Seeing them healed by the power of the name of Jesus is the most exciting and invigorating. It’s impossible, but wonderfully possible with God. Seeing a woman paralysed down one side rise up and walk at the name of Jesus is amazing. Seeing an old bed-ridden man with legs like sticks, carried by his children and seated in a chair, then get up and walk is incredible. Watching as God completely heals an old woman bound by severe arthritis so she couldn’t stand up straight, with her limbs bent is electrifying. Watching the change in the faces and the eyes of a man who was demonised, being delivered, as he attempted to swing punches at me, but landed none, falling to ground and getting up completely free, and giving his life to Jesus, is astonishing. Seeing a young woman writhe on the floor like a serpent, and then get up completely in her right mind at the name of Jesus is overwhelming. Glory to God for all these things and more.

    My own family all went down with dengue fever on a remote island in the Pacific. We were all virtually unable to function. I was called out to pray for a man with dengue, and had to struggle agonisingly up out of my sick bed to minister to him in that state. He recovered. I felt as bad as he was. That day, after I asked the elder of the church to pray for us, we were all up and healed and none the worse for our experience. If you’ve ever had dengue, you’ll know that that is impossible. It usually strikes you down for at least five weeks.

    I was on another island and struck down by an illness, probably malaria. We were invited to a Pastor’s house for tea. I couldn’t get up. I got him to pray for me, and I was instantly healed. You can explain these things away however you want, but I’ll always give glory to God.

    This excites me to think about it. I could write paragraph after paragraph of the wonders of God in our time in places long forgotten by what you would call Western civilisation, where healing flows, and deliverance is simple. Even here in Australia in some of the desert regions on communities where we minister astonishing things take place. Because people simply believe. Here, in the doubt-paralysed West, we have so much in the way of natural medicines and healing that we forget what it is to be without, and totally dependent on God. Then we explain away the lack of healings with scriptural error.

    Someone here says that most healing could be explained away! That is the Western disease! Scepticism. It’s a primary reason we don’t see so many miracles and healings in our Australian churches. But, thankfully, because some people do step out, usually Pentecostals and charismatics, for all their flaws, we do see some healing, and some deliverance. But, in general, people are not desperate enough, or, worse, are given the wrong, error-strewn theology, where healing and deliverance ended when the Apostles ended. What a demonic lie that is!

    My one concern, as I’ve said before, is the well-being of people we get to minister to. I will continue to trust God for healing and deliverance, and for people to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and do what I can to obey Christ’s commands.

    My observation is that people can be and are healed, delivered and filled with the Spirit when believers step out in faith and trust God.

    So you can deny that the word is for believers, and I will continue to minister. We could still get on OK with that understanding.

    What gets me though is that you don’t leave it there. You want to ridicule those who are ministering, and say we have vain imaginings. That is sad and unfortunate.

  32. Nobody here has ever said God doesn’t still heal, sovereignly as it brings Him glory, FL.

    Mark 16:14-20 is specifically and in context addressed to the disciples, and those events particularly happened as confirmed later in His Word.

    Even the “famous” charismatics today e.g. Jack Hayford, Adrian Warnock, John Piper etc agree that the miracles signs and wonders of the apostolic era are not the same today.

    And appreciating your experiences FL, still doesn’t change the facts that God doesn’t always heal and if he doesn’t, it’s still to His glory and purpose.

    So on with my day and bible study group, where we will meet to pray for the sick among us and lift up other requests that have been made known to us, specifically, knowing that God in His mercy will hear our requests and respond, as He decrees, in His love.

    Maybe that’s the difference between you and I, FL, – going by your “Holy Ghost” leading and leg pulling experience, you had to have a “word” to move and I only have to believe His Word.

  33. Mark Driscoll on Facebook – “1st service closed w/a college student dying of cancer give testimony of how he is using every minute he has to minister Jesus to people & is quitting school to free up more of his final days to reach more people”

    Philippians 1:20-22 “It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

  34. Just a thought, I spent 22 years at C3 experiencing more doubt about God’s ability and willingness to move, and spent the last two years in an Anglican church experiencing absolute amazement that He can and does.

    The reason? The Word being faithfully preached, first and foremost, then applied.

    The head knowledge became heart knowledge through faithful exegesis, not unfaithful eisigesis.

  35. Wow FL, just re-read your post. Made a lot of claims about me didn’t you?

    Am I a cessationist? No! Do I believe the “gifts” operating in the pentecostal church today are biblical? No! They are not done biblically except in a few churches where they put theology
    above “experience” (and their approach is reformed AND they are getting quite a few ex C3’s)

    They aren’t big megaplex churches either and I would say that’s because they’re not being seeker sensitive. Just faithful.

  36. Teddy has clarified that she is not a cessationist a number of times and I believer her. As she says, none of us commenting here deny that God does heal people.

    The problem is when people take advantage of God’s gifts for their own gain – money, influence or celebrity, fake God’s gifts, or take advantage of people in some way by them.

    The culture we see today almost always twins money or celebrity with healing or miracle rallies. I don’t think anyone here objects to Christians praying for one another for healing or believes that God will not answer. Most of us would say that he can answer in a variety of ways though. Most people object to the blanket acceptance of everything, no matter what it is twinned with, as being from God, and in the case of some settings, being automatically regarded as true, with no checks and balances.

    Mmm, this is interesting – my son is currently attempting to explain about Jesus to his younger sister…

  37. I understand you are not a cessationist, teddy. I just said that you are using the same arguments they do. If you follow Driscoll, Piper, McArthur, etc, you are bound to be influenced by their doctrine, and it is all over your theology.

    As I say, that isn’t problem to me. It’s your life and your understanding. You must live according to your conscience. What is a problem is the way you actually continue to mock people, including me, for ministering healing in the name of Jesus.

    You are wrong about Mark 16. It is addressed to believers. Whether ministers say we see less healing and deliverance today than in the Book of Acts is neither here nor there. In fact, there is healing and deliverance taking place very day. I would;\’t know if there is more or less. My only interest is the relief of those who are in pain.

    But here’s the most important question – why are you trying so hard to talk me out of ministering healing and deliverance to people in the name of Jesus?

    And of course people die. We will all die, unless the Lord comes. Death is not evidence that healing has ended. We buried two young women in our Bible School year, one of leukaemia and one of breast cancer. Did that affect us. Of course. The whole of Rhema was in shock. I don’t think the leadership really recovered. C3 has had many key people die of cancer. It affected their ministry for years. It is shocking, and can tend to dent your faith. But this doesn’t negate God’s healing power, nor does it prove Reformed Theology.

    It shows that the effects of sin are still with us, and the body is the last thing to be redeemed.

    Death is a reality for everyone. I have buried members of our church. I have sat all night in hospital with them and with their families, waiting and praying, comforting and grieving. I know the pain of it. I know when a person is about to die and how to prepare people for it. I know the shock of talking with the widows of men who have just passed away, husbands of wives who have gone to be with the Lord. Families whose loved one have gone ahead. It is a very difficult time, but a time when we have to know how to minister love. I don’t know why you brought this up. It is not evidence that God no longer heals, just that death is still a reality. But the victory is life beyond death.

    So now I’m ‘leg pulling’. Well, you know I’ll have to let you have your little joke, but I say it was the Holy Spirit, since I wasn’t manipulating anything. I have many witnesses up close to testify to this. I never have manipulated anything. In fact, I will have other congregation members come and do the hands on ministry, and healing still takes place. It is God who heals.

    I explained to you what is actually happening. It is not the leg or arm which is growing out. It is an adjustment of the spine which gives the illusion of limbs growing out. I don’t pull anything. It is a spinal adjustment. It is working of miracles. The proof is the relief people have from pain, which is one thing which cannot be manipulated. If you continue to refuse to believe what I say then I’ll have to let you go on this one.

    Secondly you claim I have to have a ‘word’ before I act, which is nonsense. I act on God’s Word, his scripture, what Jesus says. On this particular occasion I was led to take a healing meeting in a certain direction. We are led by the Spirit, teddy. It is evidence of sonship.

    Thirdly, your doctrine comes through of God’s sovereign will, whereby he basically has a list of those he’ll save and those he’ll heal, and those he’ll deliver, but others he won’t. Calvinist sovereign doctrine. You did not learn this at C3. It has become who you are and defines your position on all of these things. It stems from basic cessationist theology, even though you are not a cessationist.

    I look at God’s sovereign will in a different way; that he has revealed his will through his Word, and we are to act on it. He has delegated responsibility to believers. His Spirit is at work in us with us and upon us to lead us to do God’s will. It is still his sovereign will, but we are invited to engage in it under his Spirit.

    Your doctrine is far removed from C3 in this regard. Not just from C3, but from most Pentecostal and charismatic thinking. I respect this and will generally debate these things with you at a level of different opinions on scripture.

    But I take exception to the way you are mocking people for being on this side of an understanding of scripture. For us it is not merely a matter of a doctrinal argument. It is life and death for some people, because we believe God has instructed us to pray for the sick in his name. ‘In his name’ means he has released his sovereign will to us to minister.

    Mocking our position is unkind and not necessary.

  38. I think a lot of problems come about when various movements regard themselves as having a monopoly on truth, or all the answers. Many Calvinists and Pentes have very strong views on the truth of their doctrine, the Pente leaders often regarding the Calvinists or ‘non-spirit filled churches’ as dead, and denying God via their cessationism, while the Calvinists regard the Pentes as deluded, simplistic and sloppy in their use (abuse) of scripture, and almost not Christian. My ex Anglican minister in fact taught us that tongues were from the devil. I heard one of the Jensen’s imply the same thing once. (They do believe in the supernatural, but disagree sometimes on its source!) Both types of movement look down on the others. (I’m not speaking specifically of FL or Teddy here – this is just my experience having been in both Pente and Sydney Anglican church scenes, and having had Calvinist friends.

    It is not possible (as I think both of you would agree) that anyone, or any denomination can have everything right. Its my opinion that both interpret scripture to suit their own set point of view at times. The Calvinists in their strangely constructed cessationist doctrine (not Teddy), and the Pentes (well, those in the prosperity gospel setting) in their unwillingness to acknowledge issues with mixing money and celebrity with what they do. Plus every church that teaches tithing is an instruction to us from God is interpreting scripture to their own advantage and adding to it. My ex-Anglican church taught tithing as well. The Sydney Anglicans in the past have come across as superior, intellectual snobs, lacking in love, just as the Pente prosperity churches have come across as thinking themselves superior in being the only ones with the Holy Spirit and using their members as fodder for pastoral visions, without which the people would not actually perish at all.

    I’m severely generalising here, but I’ve seen all these things in my direct experience. I have also seen good churches and humble, gifted ministers of the gospel, so really, all churches need to be looked at on their merits. I’ve always had friends in both scenes, and have always found there to be sincere people with a real heart for God in both. The issues we discuss here are more systemic.

    Re the TV show – I think it will have little impact. But it does raise some worthwhile issues.

  39. RP,
    ‘I think a lot of problems come about when various movements regard themselves as having a monopoly on truth, or all the answers.’

    And I’m agreeing with you, here, but when people actually mock others for their perspective, right or wrong, I think it is unhelpful and divisive. That is mainly the point I’m making with teddy, who has not ceased to mock, not just the methodology, but the theology.

    I’ve even agreed to revise my careless use of the word ‘chiropractic’, and describe the actual event, and still receive mockery. I think this is a harmful reaction, and one that is completely in keeping with the way reformed theologians tend to treat Pentecostals, and especially charismatics, who they seem to consider the lowest of the low theologically.

    I had an interesting discussion with a Pentecostal Bible School teacher this week, who said the people they have most problems with are those who follow Reformed Theology teachers, and are very hard to work with, even though they encourage other perspectives, because Reformed Theology students tend to be very dogmatic and unwilling to work with other ideas. They cite Mark Driscoll as a minister who is particularly scathing in his personal attacks n Pentecostal theology, or any theology which is different to his own. Piper and McArthur are very personal in their attacks, aiming at the person more than the doctrine.

    That conversation was completely separate to anything discussed here, and seems to be gathering momentum. He wasn’t the only Bible School teacher who has said the same thing to me, which leads me to believe that the greatest divide in the Body that has to be resolved is the apparent ‘battle’ between the Reformed Theologians and the rest, with Reformed Theologians taking it to the rest of the Body, that they are right, and we are wrong.

    You have to question why would Reformed Theology students enter a Pentecostal college. Why would a Reformed Theology church member target Pentecostal churches?

  40. “You have to question why would Reformed Theology students enter a Pentecostal college.”

    That is a worthwhile question. Is it possible that some of these Reformed Theology students are not cessationists, despite the stances of some of their well known teachers?

    My personal experience with Calvinist and ardent Sydney Anglicans (not all are that intense about it; I am talking about the one’s who were very fervent about their particular denomination’s rightness) is that their attitude towards those who believe that God still moves in the gifts today is scathing. It’s one of the reasons I did not go back to the Anglican church many years ago, and began attending PP’s church in the first place. I couldn’t personally make sense of their hardline stance, and you know, if they hadn’t had it, I and others like me might never have entered the full Pentecostal church world. I had many friends at the time who like me, entered Pentecostal churches from evangelical backgrounds in reaction to a hard line attitude about charismatic gifts.

    Now of course I’m seeing things go the other way. I’ve referred to the harder line Sydney Anglican churches. However, I have a number of Pente friends who’ve moved on from their Pente churches for whatever reason and now attend their local Anglican or evangelical (Baptist or Independent) church.

    I don’t know any who have taken on a fully Calvinist attitude. None have changed their theology that I am aware of but they have rejected some of the changes or extremes they’ve noticed in their Pente congregations. They have chosen smaller evangelical congregations including Anglican ones, that have a real community focus, and who don’t condemn those of us who practice or believe that charismatic gifts are for today. This would have been one of the criteria for these people when choosing a church. The other criteria has been a good minister, whom they can respect, who has good teaching to impart without the need for entertainment and an inclusive approach to their congregation, treating them as adults rather than children. They are just good local, community churches.

    The most ardent Calvinist I have known attended the Presbyterian church.

  41. Hi guys… Not been here for ages. Dropped by just now for a browse and saw this.

    This appears to be a CCC/Kubala ministries version of “crossing over with John Edwards”

    http://www.johnedward.net/

    Whatever the case, I have to wonder if any of these guys read the bible at all? The experiencing of genuine miracles DOES NOT produce faith in people. If your Christian life is based on seeing so-called “supernatural” miracles time after time, I have to honestly wonder whether you actually possess any real faith.

    “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29) comes to mind here.

  42. What absolute rubbish about Piper and Macarthur. Get over the angst FL, these men hate the bible being used and abused to “convince” others with their personal “revelations” etc – the prosperity “gospel” high on the list. They love and serve the body of Christ more than these wolfish proponents of a false gospel do.

    RP – how are you defining Calvinism. R C Sproul for example, is an Arminian “cessationist”. My favourite reformed teacher on the internet, Jim McClarty, is a non-cessationist Calvinist. John Piper is a Reformed Charismatic as is Mark Driscoll.

  43. @ RP How do you viewing charismatics gifts as they operating, (more often in an unbiblical, out of order manner) in the church today? What’s been your former experience in the larger church environment, did you see things as out of order, judging by the foundations laid down in the NT?

  44. Hey Bill, come into the arena, we need some “sermon” cage fighting (a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques) here! 🙂

  45. Thanks Teddy 🙂

    I am somewhat troubled by this latest move of CCC’s/Kubala and more importantly, the apparent mentality behind it.

    A very simple reading of O.T scripture will show that the performance of extraordinary miracles does not translate into people full of faith; the Jews of Moses time who wandered in the wilderness 40 years saw things we can only now speculate on and it didn’t do them much good in the end did it?

  46. I don’t think healing or deliverance are given by God for the increase of faith, or the proof of God’s existence, or as a doctrinal evidence of sound theology amongst scholars, but to help people not have pain and suffer, plain and simple.

    Certainly, in the case of deliverance, people who are freed from demonic oppression tend to convert. In fact Jesus says that if they don’t receive the Spirit through the new birth they could end up significantly worse off.

    I disagree that there is no connection between people increasing in faith when witnessing healing, or receiving healing. I think many people come to the Lord as a result of a life changing experience. In large evangelistic rallies it certainly helps people draw closer to God.

    Using Israel of Jesus’ day as an example of people seeing but not believing is not good exegesis, because it was prophesied and made clear that ‘seeing they would not see and hearing they would not hear’. Blindness came over them and hardness of heart interfered with faith, at least, until Jesus ascended, when things seemed to change, even for many Jews. But blindness stopped Israel from seeing.

    That isn’t always the case. The Gentiles certainly saw and believed throughout the Book of Acts, and there were those who received God and those who opposed. Healing was an important evangelistic tool in bringing change to the known world.
    •••••••••••••

    teddy, McArthur and Co can be harsh on charismatics in particular, as you have been here with Pentecostal healing ministry in general.

  47. Weighed and found wanting FL. Have you seriously, and I mean seriously, investigated these matters re “Charismatic Chaos” without bringing your presuppositions to the table (as I did initially). It can be a rude awakening to allow the Word to do it’s work in revealing Truth. It’s got nothing to do with Calvinism, Arminianism, Pentecostalism or Anglicanism, etc etc , it’s simply about the sovereignity of God in all His dealings with men.

  48. Heard an atheist explain to another atheist what Christianity is the other day.

    “Christianity is a group of people who believe that the Pope is not God.”

    They did not explain any further. 😀

  49. FL – “You have to question why would Reformed Theology students enter a Pentecostal college. Why would a Reformed Theology church member target Pentecostal churches?”

    I think a lot of the students enter college not knowing what they believe, then leave discovering what not to believe. 🙂

    And Facelift, Bill was talking about the Jews that walked in the wilderness with God not believing.

  50. How can I be found wanting by a Reformed Theology person because I haven’t read every word of their doctrinal expert and be really concerned about it? 😀 I’m not trying to be rude, but I can’t just read every book out when I still have so much to learn from the Bible! If I’m found wanting by God for not deeply studying McArthur, I’ll repent. I’ve read enough to say that’s enough, thanks!

    I’m not a charismatic, teddy, and understand some of the dilemmas charismatics have to go through to find their feet, being a relatively recent movement, but I’m selective about reading, and getting on with ministry.

    Anyone who is a cessationist and against the baptism with the Holy Spirit is falling short and needs to revise their theology. I don’t see how J McArthur can help me serve our community as long as he is a cessationist preacher, a Calvinist and driving that agenda. I have looked at his work, and I am not really interested at this stage in pursuing it further.

    I am contented with what God has called me to do, whilst always available for correction, but I don’t think McArthur has it to do. I will not be a Reformed Theology person, unless God visits me and tells me I am that far up the creek. But I won’t be mocking those who are.

    God heals today through his Church, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus. His gifts are for today. The baptism is for today. Sick and oppressed people everywhere need the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, and the signs of the Holy Spirit working with believers who preach the gospel as much today as ever.

    I wish the Kubalas well in their venture. I hope many are healed, delivered, and most of all, saved. If one gives their life to Jesus it will have all been worth it.

  51. Specks, students enter C3 Bible College having not even read the Bible. What the benchmark for acceptance these days. Zeal? Zeal + ignorance? Mark Saundercock passed on that bit of info to me when we were in a discussion about some hometruths.

  52. Hometruths being the state of affairs re 2nd year students not having ever read Isaiah. How did they make it to 2nd year, let alone get in.

  53. s&p, the people in the conversation were students who were already Reformed Theology people. They were imposing their beliefs on other students and disrupting classes on purpose.

  54. Correct Specks, I was talking about the Jews of Moses time but the principle is concurrent right throughout the scriptures – miracles do not translate into converted souls or necessitate changed character on part of the person witnessing the event.

    Paul late in his ministry was apparently unable to “heal” Timothy and instead told him to “drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities” (1 Tim 5:23)

    And I should also point out what happened to the church that was birthed in the miraculous in Paul’s day? It apostatized that’s what! Paul wrote that “all they which be in Asia have turned away from me” (2 Timothy 1:15) and John also wrote of being cast out of the church (3 John 9-10) by a heretic named Diotrephes who obviously wielded more influence than he.

  55. John Piper:

    “In today’s text we see a pretty clear answer to the question why the church wanted signs and wonders—with all their dangers, with all their abuses—why they prayed: “Lord, stretch out your hand to heal and do signs and wonders in the name of Jesus.” Acts 5:12 says, “Many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico.” (I think “they” refers to all the church, because of the sequence of thought in 2:43-44.)

    Verses 13 and 14 describe two results of this demonstration of signs and wonders. First, the people of Jerusalem—the outsiders stood in awe of the apostles and the church. Ananias and Sapphira had died, signs and wonders were being done, and verse 13 says, “None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high honor.” But that’s not all. In the midst of all this fear and amazement and wonder, many were coming to faith in Jesus. Verse 14: “And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.”

    So I would say what Luke wants us to see is this connection between the signs and wonders done by the apostles in verse 12 and the multitudes being added to the Lord in verse 14. And I would say, then, that this is why the church prayed so earnestly for signs and wonders to be done. Signs and wonders helped bring people to the Lord. They helped bring people to saving faith.”

    Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

    “It is perfectly clear that in New Testament times, the gospel was authenticated in this way by signs, wonders and miracles of various characters and descriptions . . . Was it only meant to be true of the early church? . . . The Scriptures never anywhere say that these things were only temporary—never! There is no such statement anywhere. (The Sovereign Spirit, pp. 31-32)”

  56. You’ve spectacularly missed the point yet again, but hey, you’re apparently connected up @ CCC so what else can I expect?

  57. It’s bizarre to me that you’d even bother quoting scripture?
    I heard “Dr” Gordon Moore preach @ CCC recently that (paraphrased version) “we’ve got to go beyond the N.T experiences and writings”

  58. So FL your argument is that the gifts must be around because the NT never explicitly says anything will change or be withdrawn, are we to expect the continued authorship of the inerrant, binding Word? So the canon is NOT closed? Are you going to provide something to my now not apparently closed canon aka NASB John Macarthur Study Bible? Leg pulling perhaps? 🙂

  59. Teddy if FL is anything like Gordon Moore, he is going to go above and beyond the NT writing into “a whole other dimension” (another paraphrase)

    Whatever exactly hat means is up to the suit calling the shots I guess! 🙂
    Hah, you can’t make this stuff up if you tried…

  60. Well there’s Yonggi Cho’s “Fourth Dimension” to add to the open ended “canon”. Wow, are we off track! 🙂

  61. ” How do you viewing charismatics gifts as they operating, (more often in an unbiblical, out of order manner) in the church today? What’s been your former experience in the larger church environment, did you see things as out of order, judging by the foundations laid down in the NT?” – question to me from Teddy

    How do I view them as I see them operating today? – I see too much showmanship and celebrity attached for the purposes of marketing and financial gain. I think that the foundations in the NT – including my own take on what that is – are regarded as largely irrelevant in these contexts, and some warnings are simply ignored.

    My view is that the gifts should just be a normal part of our lives, and not sensationalised. Forget the hype. For me personally, that would include freely in a private prayer meeting with any group of Christian friends as long as we feel led and where to do so is to act in love.

    I also believe that there are times we can refrain from exercising the gifts if there are people present who are uncomfortable with them. Respect and care for others is paramount. We can also pray or give spirit led words in any other setting, as long as we are respectful and don’t force things on people where they are unwanted. Don’t put down people who aren’t comfortable with those things and don’t pump up the value of places which do have them. It is not what makes a Christian. That is often an exercise in pride.

    In a more official or public church gathering, Paul’s guidelines are wisdom that we should be mindful of. However, as with all things, there is no law. We need to ask what Paul was trying to achieve in the congregations he wrote to, which was love, respect and order. In these settings, if there are public tongues spoken out for all the congregation to hear, there should be interpretation. There should be an orderly limit to prophecy. However – whether that is 2 or 3, or 5 or 7, could depend on what makes sense in that congregation at the time. The main thing is that things remain orderly and bring glory to God, not to men.

    Wisdom and love need to be paramount when offering prayer for healing, and people are not fodder for a show. There is no need for hype. These days, hype actually brings these meetings into disrepute, so should probably be avoided if people want to really bring glory to God. Paul took no pay to avoid bringing the gospel into disrepute – there are many practices associated with healing shows that bring the gospel into disrepute, and why not stop them. For this reason, I think ideally there would be no offerings taken at these meetings if they even occur. If speakers won’t come – fine – have local people pray for one another. There is no need to invite special speakers to do what the local body is called to do. We could get rid of music too, during prayer. I like music, but if its relied upon for atmosphere, who needs the Holy Spirit. I say this not because music is bad, but because there is a principle in scripture that if your aim is to reach out to the unsaved, we need to avoid things that give us a bad reputation. These things can be seen to be manipulative. If God is truly present, we have no need for them.

    I’d basically get rid of anything that can manipulate people’s emotions, and don’t use events to raise money except for the poor. Apart from primarily evangelistic events, I’d get rid of all the shows. Train the locals to do what is needed, as this is what we are called to. God provides all the gifts we need in our midst. Give the money saved to the poor, or support the needy in the congregation. Have people grow in love for one another, and learn to know Jesus through that, rather than promoting meetings for signs and wonders which ought to be a normal part of our lives as God responds to our prayers (sometimes the way we want, and sometimes in ways beyond our wisdom) rather than special events. Focus on Christ, not celebrities.

    *********

    My own experiences: All kinds. Completely full on Pentecostal, no holds barred, Holy Spirit meetings. The most full on were not public events. Primarily, these would be related to prayer and evangelism. I think God was with us at these events. Lots of ‘shows’. There were some very genuine speakers early on. Some of them took personal risk and spoke for no gain in non-church evangelistic settings for outreach. These were primarily evangelists. Impressive. However – the shows that burnt me out were related to hyping the crowd up for church growth or vision; asking for money, over and over. Standing people up in front of crowds to say how awesome their $100K commitment to the building fund was. Hearing lots of prophetic words for people the prophecier knew personally, but very rarely for someone unknown to them. In fact I didn’t hear prophecy at PP’s church except from the leaders out the front. After a few years, the vision of a church of 10,000 people or 100,000 people or ‘a new thing being birthed’ or ‘Australia being at the forefront’, or ‘taking the city’, seemed strangely repetitive, but not much actually seemed to progress in those directions.

    Next church was quite different. Much more restrained and criticised for it by people from the mother church at times, and some of its own members. However, a Pastor who vetted the speakers, and also what he’d allow into the congregation. Prophetic words from the congregation prior to the message, usually only 2 or 3 at the most, and often relating quite well to the prepared sermon later. Very little shouting of messages – if ever. Prayer available for people always, but not hyped up. Actual elders, that we all knew, who changed over time, so there was no incumbent power group. A mature congregation in so many ways. No hype. It wasn’t perfect of course, but basically adhered to Biblical principles quite obviously, and was a good place to be a part of.

  62. I read your original answer RP and got a lot out of it. Good to hear about your last church, (I guess before it changed)… it reminded me of the church I first went to and got saved at.

    [Explanatory note from RP: Wazza comments here on my original answer after noticing I had edited back to 3 lines since he read it, as I thought I’d made it too long. So I have changed it back to the original again, for what its worth.]

  63. On the whole Calvinism – Arminian thing, its another example of how we pick sides and try to define doctrine in an either-or manner. Or as the trendy emergents would say, it’s “Greek thinking”

    Predestination must have its place because the whole concept of free-will is troublesome philosophically. How can our will ever be truly free? There are biblical passages which support the idea of God choosing who he saves, there are also others which emphasise human choice. Arminianism has the idea of prevenient grace, the grace of God which allows us to choose.

    There must be elements of truth in both positions, but there’s no way to combine the two under our language and logic systems. So we pick one side or the other. But there are other ways of dealing with these kinds of problems.

  64. teddy,
    ‘So FL your argument is that the gifts must be around because the NT never explicitly says anything will change or be withdrawn, are we to expect the continued authorship of the inerrant, binding Word?’

    The canon is closed, but it lives on. It’s not a dead piece of history, but a living Testament. There are instructions for the Church age, which we are still in, which have never been removed. The gifts of the Spirit are still His gifts and manifestations, to use as he deems fit.

    ‘So the canon is NOT closed?’

    Well that’s not true. The canon is not closed. There is nothing to add to. The Church has not closed however. The instructions of Jesus to his Church are as valid today as during the Book of Acts.

    ‘Are you going to provide something to my now not apparently closed canon aka NASB John Macarthur Study Bible?’

    I never realised that John McArthur had written either the New Testament, or the NASB. I wonder what he does with the chapters which include the manifestations of the Spirit, speaking in tongues, the baptism with the Spirit, the empowerment of believers, the signs which follow believers, prophecy, tongues and interpretation, etc.. Perhaps you could give me a hint.

    ‘Leg pulling perhaps? ‘

    I never touched ‘im officer, ‘onest!

    Your logic is very strange indeed if you are saying that the actual outworking of the New Testament has ended. Could you pin-point a time for me please? Are you saying we only needed the signs and wonders and gifts of the Spirit during the time of Jesus’ Apostles, and have not needed them since?

  65. Correction:

    I should have written:

    ‘So the canon is NOT closed?’

    Well that’s not true. The canon is closed. There is nothing to add to. The Church has not closed however. The instructions of Jesus to his Church are as valid today as during the Book of Acts.

  66. So you would add to the completed canon OT/NT? Have you been commissioned to add to it?

    Why is the canon closed and why can’t we add to the sixty-six books of the Bible?

    How about Revelation 22:18: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” And since Revelation is the final book of the Bible, if we add to Scripture, that’s forbidden.

    Well,I guess we can add the book of Mormon.

  67. I don’t know what you’re saying teddy.

    I have said the canon is closed.

    You said it wasn’t closed. I was quoting you.

  68. It’ a misunderstanding I think. I believe the canon is closed, I was asking you if you didn’t think it was. Just a response to something said waaaaay back when?

  69. Wazza – thanks for that. I changed my answer back to the original for what its worth – despite the length. (The back button on the browser still had it all there.) If its still relevant now that the conversation has continued on.

  70. There are different kinds of meetings with different functions. An open meeting, where visitors and the unsaved are invited or expected should be held decently and in order, as in Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians. Communion would be involved, and prophecy would be arranged by the meeting leader.

    There may be other meetings where praying or singing in tongues is encouraged if it is generally accepted that it is a believers’ meeting.

    In a prayer meeting you would expect there to be prayer with the understanding and in the spirit.

    If an evangelistic meeting is being held, there would be testimony, worship, special songs, and a strong evangelistic gospel message, which was geared to drawing people to Jesus.

    A teaching meeting would be less evangelistic and maybe focus on a Book of the Bible or Topical teaching, the audience being primarily congregation members.

    Small groups would be different again.

    I think a problem arises when we attempt to make every meeting into one kind of meeting, usually it’s expected to always be a repentance meeting, but that isn’t always what is required.
    •••••••••••••

    Bill,
    on doctrine, I seem to remember a couple of discussions with you some way back on your universalist take on scripture, and your aversion to the teaching on hell.

    Universalism isn’t so far removed from Reformed Theology, except that you say everyone is in God’s Book of Life, whether they confess Jesus or not, whereas Reformed Theologians say only previously selected people are in the Book, and those who aren’t don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being able to get into heaven, even by the preaching the gospel.

    Either way, the preaching of the gospel to anyone is rendered pointless.

    So, in effect, what you say about people not being saved through miracles is irrelevant to what you believe anyway. So is quoting Israel in the wilderness! We’re saved by the work of the Cross, not the Tablets of Stone.

  71. Why I am so against this show is that Kubala’s name is exalted on his website and praised more in these promotions than the name of Jesus.

    He was this way when we first read about him on http://www.groupsects.wordpress.com . He wants people to ‘believe’. What? That he is a healer?

  72. Gotta love friends on Facebook! They keep you informed what’s happening around these churches. Here’s more info. Your thoughts?

    Andrew invited you to “LIVE RECORDING – audience needed” …

    Andrew says, “Hi Everyone,

    Please pray for this event on the 10th May, 2010 (in Sydney Australia) – If you can make it, I urge you to bring family and friends in need of healing.

    Andrew Kubala”.

    Event: LIVE RECORDING – audience needed
    What: Rally
    Start Time: 10 May at 12:30
    End Time: 10 May at 20:30
    Where: C3 Church (Main auditorium)

  73. FL – it would be appreciated if you did not put words in my mouth.
    My thoughts on Universalism are not necessarily relevant to the topic at hand and it seems a convenient way for you to minimize any valid criticism that I may have on miracles producing lasting faith in people.

    I liked what Wazza said “It might be done with the best intentions, but using miracles to get people to believe in God will lead to complications. Other people might be able to perform miracles too, should we then believe in their Gods?”

    Great point! And as previously noted, nowhere in scripture do we find that miracles produce life-long lasting faith in those who witness these acts.
    I really do hope people get healed of physical ailments but Kubala needs to revise his theology and M.O for the show.

  74. Agreed, Bill. No amount of evidence, whether it’s scripture , whether it’s prophecy, whether it’s miracles, again no amount of evidence can create genuine faith, only the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit, producing the enlightenment, the regeneration and the wisdom to understand the word of God. So this becomes like a sideshow, in a sense, people sitting there with an expectation of seeing God “perform”.

    Even when I was still attending C3, I hated the sense of waiting for a “show” to start, rather than a church service.

  75. So, according to this flawed logic, because shamans from other religions claim healing we should abandon God’s healing and deliverance manifestations, and not allow healing or deliverance in Christian meetings?

    THE SIGNS OF THE FATHER
    Healing, deliverance, tongues and divine protection are signs which point to where the Father is, that he is willing to meet needs through his Body. they do not save people, they direct people into God’s love, mercy and grace.

    THE WAY TO THE FATHER
    Jesus is the Way to the Father. We come through repentance – turning – changing direction and accepting his offer of pardon. He offers the Truth and the Life.

    THE CALL OF THE FATHER
    Preaching the gospel is the message of hope and invitation into salvation through turning to Jesus.

    THE DOOR TO THE FATHER
    Jesus is the Door into the sheepfold. We enter through faith in the work of the cross.

    THE GIFT OF THE FATHER
    God’s grace is his gift of free eternal life in him. It is accessed by the key, which is faith, and the door is opened by our confession of faith in Christ Jesus. The guarantee is that all who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Jesus said that believers would do the works that he did, and even greater things, because he went on to be with the Father.

    The works that Jesus did included preaching, teaching, healing and deliverance. He showed his disciples and empowered them in all of these things.

    He promised the Holy Spirit would come and work with them. The Holy Spirit would be ‘one just like him’. He said we would be empowered by the Spirit to be witnesses, people who give evidence that Jesus is alive and risen, that he is the ‘same, yesterday, today and forever’.

    Paul the Apostle:
    ‘I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but IN DEMONSTRATION OF THE SIRIT AND POWER, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.’

    Hebrews 2:4
    ‘God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?’

    Acts 14:3
    Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

    My personal favourite:

    Romans 15:17-19
    Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient– in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

    Do you really think God is phased by the piffling works of devil-inspired shamans or lawmen. I can tell you from experience that most lawmen are intimidated by the signs and wonders which exude from the presence of God. I have spoken with them, because they tend to to feel their territory is threatened by the power of God’s healing and deliverance in their region. Good, let them be intimidated by God. Many have been converted because they see a higher power at work.

    Did Elijah hold back because 400 prophets of Ba’al ran Israel in the time of Jezebel? Are we to cower because false healers run some community. Think about it for a second. Isn’t the counterfeit evidence of the real? Don’t we have the real? Hasn’t God released the real to his Church?

    Let’s get the gospel out in all its glory and with all of God’s power on display. That is the real show. He is awesome and mighty in power.

    •••••••••••••••••••••••••

    Bill (earlier):
    ‘…if FL is anything like Gordon Moore, he is going to go above and beyond the NT writing into “a whole other dimension” (another paraphrase)’

    Is that putting words in my mouth, or what? I said nothing. Not worth it.

    Bill (later, after being asked about his doctrinal stance):
    ‘FL – it would be appreciated if you did not put words in my mouth.’

    How is asking a question about your doctrinal stance putting words in your mouth? It’s a key question in view of what you’re saying.

  76. Sorry FL, I was referring to your comment “except that you say everyone is in God’s Book of Life, whether they confess Jesus or not”
    I’ve never once professed that point of view; that’s a different topic altogether though.

    I made the Gordon Moore crack because he’s a CCC man, as are you if I am correct? Not trying to put words in your mouth, merely connecting the “birds of a feather” mentality 🙂

    Your Elijah reference is interesting. What happened as a result of Elijah’s miracle? While it may have roused the people for a season, it did not translate into a life-long commitment from the Israelites and this seems to be the point that you miss. The guy had to flee soon after this miracle and lamented that he was the “only one” who was faithful in all of Israel while he hid on Mount Horeb.

    The Jews were still sacked later on by the Babylonians as a result of their sin so in a sense, the miracles of Elijah had no lasting effect in that particular generation.

  77. I’ll tell you something else. We minister in places where lawmen rule the roost. The only thing I have seen which shifts those places is preaching the gospel with a demonstration of the power of God. The Holy Spirit must be present to confirm the gospel reached. To them, if God is real he will show himself to be real, and do what he says he will do in his Word.

    The power of the Word of God is confirmed by the Spirit. If Jesus is who he says he is he remains the Healer and the Deliverer, the Saviour, the Express Image of the Invisible God, whose name is Jehovah Rapha – The Lord Our Healer, El Shaddai, the Almighty God.

    My goodness, why would Jesus bother to take so much time showing his disciples how to heal the sick, deliver the oppressed and preach the power of the kingdom if it had not effect on the people they were to preach to?

    The Israel of Jesus’ day was blinded. By comparison, after Jesus ascended, the people of Acts either ran to the gospel or away from it in fear. Multitudes were saved, including from the House of Israel, even those who wee previously blinded. God is as powerful today as he ever was.

    The enemy of the cross is human logic and reason.
    ••••••••••••••••

    According to Reformed Theology, signs and wonders petered out when Peter petered out.

    It occurs to me, in light of what teddy says about not needing signs and miracles, that the claim from this theology is that the signs and wonders of Acts and Jesus’ ministry were there only to kick-start the Church age, and not necessary afterwards.

    I have to ask why? Why was it necessary to have one form of ministry to start something off when the same gospel was enough to finish it off?

    What was weak about the gospel then that it needed signs to confirm it, when now it is strong and needs no signs?

    Why eliminate the very signs and wonders which drew so many to the gospel in he early days, and leave multitudes of our era to be sick, demonised and oppressed, when the population of today is so much greater, with all of its needs, than it ever was in Jesus’ day?

    It just doesn’t make any logical sense at all. And there is no Biblical evidence for such a doctrine. None.

  78. While I can’t say I’ve examined “reformed theology” in great detail FL, I will say that from a purely biblical standpoint, the way something starts out is immensely different from the way it ends up or concludes.

    Consider the Adamic age – began with Adam naked in a garden and ended up with Noah on a boat with the rest of humanity drowning in the flood.
    What about the Abrahamic covenant? Began with Abraham leaving his father’s family and ended with Joseph 2nd in command of a heathen nation.
    What about the Mosaic age? Began with Moses leading the Israelites into a parted red sea and ended with them as a dispossessed nation being ruled by a world super-power.

    With that in mind, you have to wonder if the church age will really end in so called “great revival” and as you suggest, the miracles and signs and wonders of Christ’s day. I dare say such a thought would not have occurred to you being that your mind seems to be perpetually made up about anything and everything.

  79. This thread isn’t about eliminating signs and wonders. Its about what will be achieved by having a TV show based around them.

    I think there is a big difference between evangelising in the third world or developing countries, and putting on a TV show to try to prove something to Western audiences. As Wazza and others have agreed, regardless of what they see, many people will not be convinced – real or fake. Even in Christ’s day, the miracles often didn’t cause people to turn to follow him. We are talking about a show that says its reaching out to non-Christians in our relatively affluent and educated society, that is used to marketing in all its forms. If someone is cynical, then a TV show is unlikely to change them, even with live interviews. What it will do is provide PR, excitement and celebrity within the Christian community. That’s why in my view it will have little impact in the end. Things need to be more personal for people to be convinced.

    Now if the question is whether it is moral or scripturally correct to have such a TV show, that is another matter. Perhaps that’s the question everyone wants to answer here.

  80. Agreed RP.

    Apologies if you think I veered off topic, I was just answering FL’s previous post re “reformed theology”

    I can’t see anything wrong with a TV show per say, it’s more the motivating factor behind it I think.

  81. No need for apologies! We go off on tangents all the time, and hit interesting new topics that way at times. Also, it does seem clear that people really want to discuss whether its ‘right or wrong’ to have such a TV show rather than its effects, which is fine. To that, there is no simple answer. Mine would be – “it all depends…” Largely on their motivation; perhaps also upon what they are teaching the Bible actually says. Also upon whether it is a case of televised manipulation or what God is actually doing. (The leg lengthening miracles heighten credibility issues.) Scripture doesn’t talk about TV shows.

  82. T L and Daisy Osborne were probably the greatest of the mass evangelism teams of the 20th century. They really began in, what was called then, 3rd world nations, and discovered that mass evangelism could be a very effective means of spreading the gospel. Their main calling cards were healing, deliverance and the gospel message. Thousands were saved under their ministry, hundreds of churches planted, and thousands of pastors supported over many years.

    They were led of the Spirit in the mid-1950’s to hold an evangelistic series of events in major cities in Holland. They were told that the Western European mindset and reformed theology of the Dutch would lead to abject failure there. The Dutch were not like the West Indians, or the Indonesians, or people from developing nations, where the need was so great. They were a developed nation, a secular society, and very traditional in their religion, so they would never come to the meetings, let alone be saved.

    They pressed on regardless of the criticism, and held some of the greatest evangelistic rallies Holland has ever seen. The people, they realised, were the same everywhere, with the same needs, the same cry, and the same oppressor, needing the same help, the same gospel and the same Saviour.

    No doubt someone here will now attempt to discredit the Osbornes in some way, but, while this is still untainted information, it was made clear by them and subsequent rallies that people everywhere are in need of a Saviour, and are drawn to the power of healing and deliverance from oppression.

    My point is that the people came to the meetings, bringing their needs with them, even in Western secular societies. There is more hunger and desperation in our suburbs than we know.

  83. Latter rain movement. Read some of Orrel Steinkamp’s (retired Assemblies of God minister) articles from “Plumbline”.

  84. Sorry to go off on a “tangent” here yet again but am I the only one who is a little disturbed at ministers claiming “souls were saved”???

    I attended a youth group when I was younger and out of all the people who “got saved” there and became a part of it, very few then went on to lead anything resembling a Christian life.

    I really do have to ask what becomes of all these 1000’s who make a decision at a hyped up meeting; whether anything actually lasting comes from it or if it’s merely another feather in the evangelists PR hat so he/she can secure that next conference booking.

    I believe “make disciples” was the outro message, not “procure a significant number decisions in order to grow your ministry”

  85. Alrighty then.

    If I might intervene.

    While it is no doubt true that God can and does intervene directly in this world with sovereign power … I suspect that He would not oblige anyone by turning up “on time” for a television recording.
    Particularly for a “GodTV” Christian channel (or is this a different one?)

    If it is GodTV with Wendy and Rory Alec, then it is all about money. The Alecs are obscenely wealthy … particularly when it’s missions week three weeks out of every four. Wendy also famously wrote to Todd Bentley during the Fakeland Fiasco and he read he letter on stage “Jesus is gonna show up in Person on Stage on (can’t remember the date)”.

    It does look like a typical “medium” show format too. I expect that much of what will happen on this show will resemble stage magic shows. (To paraphrase UK magician Paul Daniels — “That’s Tragic!”)

    Elijah was mentioned. A mighty miracle of God … but he had to flee for his life. He had a nervous breakdown and complained bitterly towards God … and God had to put him straight. “I have reserved for myself 7000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal.”

    Which shows that while human beings have free-will, God has more free-will than we do!

    Anyway … the tv show can expect to demonstrate bad cold-reading, leg-lengthening, “slain in the spirit” (well it is in the New testament … lie about your offering and you too can be slain in the Spirit like Ananias and Sapphira!), very loud worship, I would be surprised if lots of the Toronto style phenomena didn’t happen too.

    But the Kubala’s will generate a lot of interest and a truck-load of cash and this will be their proof of God’s hand on them … they will be “prospering”.

    (just remembered … anyone reckon they’ll “seed” the place with gem-stones? How about Angel feathers? Gold-dust? Reckon they’ll come up with a gold-teeth miracle?)

    A sad day really.

    Shalom

  86. “There are none that seek after God”
    – I am not a believer in decisional regeneration

    Roamns 3:9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better[? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written:
    “There is no one righteous, not even one;
    11there is no one who understands,
    no one who seeks God.
    All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”
    “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”
    “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
    “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
    “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    ruin and misery mark their ways,
    and the way of peace they do not know.”
    “There is no fear of God before their eyes”

  87. Re Bill’s comment just previously:

    Hmm… I think that kind of youth group experience is not unusual. I remember a class full of people at my confirmation – we all learnt what it was all about, and agreed with everything. I am the only one who seemed to remain Christian from that particular class. Depends on why people are attending somewhere – is it purely social, or because of family pressure, or actually because they desire to know more about God? Or some mixture?

    I also remember the Leighton Ford rally of my teens – most of those I knew who made decisions didn’t seem to go anywhere with it later. Though I personally went up and got their little books and Bible, and used them for years when I didn’t go to a church and was too young to do so by myself. (I pretended to ‘get saved’ in an attempt to connect with other Christians but I’d actually made my salvation decision years before.)

    I completely agree that this is an issue:

    “I really do have to ask what becomes of all these 1000′s who make a decision at a hyped up meeting; whether anything actually lasting comes from it or if it’s merely another feather in the evangelists PR hat so he/she can secure that next conference booking.

    I believe “make disciples” was the outro message, not “procure a significant number decisions in order to grow your ministry” ” – Bill

    Actually, I feel quite strongly on the subject. Making disciples is completely different from getting people to come up the front on a given night. There is far more focus on numbers of hands in the air than even understanding what being a disciple is. It’s certainly not covered by attending church on time on Sunday, going to a mid-week meeting, tithing, and giving to love offerings. But those are the check boxes people are given to ‘measure’ whether their walk is acceptable a lot of the time.

  88. @Bill I agree… I have often wondered if verbal assent to the statement “Jesus is my Lord and Saviour” is the same as salvation. Many Pastors and Evangelists act as if it is. I once sat through a presentation by the leader of the children’s ministry at a mega-church as he showed on a graph how many “decisions for Christ” had been achieved last year and how many they were forecasting for the current year. It seems they want something measurable in order to know they are successful in doing God’s work.

    Similarly with healings a leader will usually grab hold of any testimony of a healing and uncritically claim it as caused by God’s supernatural power. I have seen a friend on stage exaggerate his illness before the “healing” – I didnt even know he was unwell. But everyone praised God for such a miracle. Testimonials in all these cases are notoriously unreliable. As are the testimonies of the Preachers when they have finished their crusades, it has to be said.

    This is not to criticise the many Christians who pray for healing, or even conduct special services for healing. Things go awry though when people look to these testimonies to strengthen their faith or as evidence of God for unbelievers. We only have to look back to the Mike Gugglielmucci case to see how people can be deceived.. he said he was dying of cancer but he looked like a lumber-jack. Why didnt anyone ask questions?

    This particular event is being advertised mainly to Christians, to bring along their sick family and friends so that healings can be broadcast to unbelievers. In my opinion this has the potential for a lot of deception.

  89. RP and Wazza, I concur totally! Well said.

    I wonder whether many career ministers must feel an unspoken pressure to “perform” these miracles or some kind of obligation to demonstrate the “signs following” that so many believe are conclusive evidence of the spirit within a minister’s life.

    Is FL a career minister? Perhaps he would care to comment?

  90. You don’t think I’ve commented, Bill? I comment as myself, not a career anything. These are my personal opinions and not representative of any movement. I am a leader in a local church and involved in evangelism and missions. I come here to relate to people with different perspectives and contribute to debate. I am a Pentecostal.

    The short answer to your question is, no, there is no pressure by me on me to perform, and if it ever arises as a temptation it is quickly resisted. We are reminded by Paul that we are not here to please men, but to please God. It is his Church, and he is building it. We are merely co-workers and bondservant sons. I hold to the truth that if it is in the Word of God and God has said he will do it, then it is pertinent for a minister to take him at his word. There is no obligation on ministers to perform, only to be obedient to the leading of the Spirit, and to the written Word. It is the Spirit who demonstrates the Word preached with signs following, not the minister of the Word.

    However, there are instructions an commands in the Word which compel us to do all we can to win souls and make disciples. In this I am a debtor to the lost. That is my only pressure.
    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    teddy, Romans 3 goes on from the point you left off:

    “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

    “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.”

    “For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

    People are justified freely through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, our propitiation, through faith in him. How are they saved? By faith. How does faith come? By hearing the word of Christ. How do they hear? People are sent to preach.

    No one is saved without the preaching of the gospel. No one.
    •••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    Making disciples is indeed the task given to believers, Bill, but involved in this is winning souls to Christ through salvation, because no one can be a disciple unless he or she is saved first, baptised in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and being taught all that God has commanded us.

    Altar calls are futile without discipleship. But discipleship is impossible without converts.
    •••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    tedy,
    Sorry in advance to be strong about this, but the Osbornes were absolutely nothing to do with anything to do with the latter rain movement. What tosh! Obscenely ignorant. I do wish this horrible attempt at crushing goodness with such pathetic one liners would stop. It makes people look so foolish.

    The Osbornes were pioneers in their field, not really linked to anything. They were unique in heir mission, and much imitated thereafter.

    They were ordained Baptist preachers, like many of their contemporaries, who were filled with the Spirit. They were missionaries to India married at the age of 18 and sent out at 20. They failed in their first journey, came home, Pastored a small Baptist church for a short while, then heard a great and highly respected missionary Pastor, Oswald J Smith, preach on winning souls, his catch-phrase being, “Go or send”, then they were filled with the Spirit, which transformed their ministry. So they began evangelistic rallies, and, to their amazement, multitudes came, and a ministry was begun which touched the world.

    They won thousands of souls through salvation, but part of the their strategy was to make sure there were Pastors set up to take he new converts in. To this end they raised millions of dollars to support the fledgling ministries all over the world, wherever they went for rallies. Some 30,000 pastors in the field have been supported. This work goes on today. They also sent equipment to local evangelists in every place they ministered to continue the work into the remote places of nations cut off from the rest of the world.

  91. Wazza2 – “We only have to look back to the Mike Gugglielmucci case to see how people can be deceived.. he said he was dying of cancer but he looked like a lumber-jack. Why didn’t anyone ask questions?”

    Well, I expect everyone who knew him was really worried about him. Besides, what kind of person would pretend he had cancer?

  92. No comment on the other thing. 😦

    It just seems a bit vindictive. Being in leadership isn’t easy and the pressure to perform must be immense in the types of environment that exist. If you don’t do x, y, z then you aren’t in the latest move of God and your church isn’t going to grow. I don’t think it is fair on anyone.

    I am in no position to say if FL is operating under the guidance of the Holy Spirit or not … however, I do celebrate the fact that he clearly wants to be operating under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and FL hasn’t said anything on this thread to get my spider-sense tingling.
    (The leg lengthening thing is between FL and God. Other people have their own battles with their conscience … I have no reason to doubt FL’s integrity here. As a complete aside, I had back trouble for some time … and had an amazing experience that sorted out my back in a split second … there was a loud crack and my back was completely realigned!!!

    Yes, I did in fact go to a physiotherapist. He took one look at me and asked me to lie down in a certain way. a quick push/pull and my back was sorted out in a second. So, the answer to having back trouble is to see a sports/physio and you too can regain the ability to touch your toes. I’d love to say that it was a rugby injury, but in fact it was picking up a table for fellowship lunch! So I injured my back in church and got it sorted out at the doctors!)

    Shalom

  93. Thanks Bull! Appreciated! 😀

    I’ll try not to get your back up now you’ve recovered!

  94. I’ve given your question some more thought.

    Paul on pressure to perform:

    ‘I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of he Spirit and power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.’

    ‘Weakness, fear, and much trembling’. Nervousness before a message is a normal reaction, and prepares a preacher to be reliant on the Spirit. Not fear of people, so much as fear of God.

    I don’t really feel pressure to preach, or to allow the Holy Spirit time and space to minister. That is the grace on my life. I’m fairly relaxed about it. But I don’t like being outside of the gifting God has entrusted me with. Then there is pressure of sorts.

    The most intimidating meeting I ever led was for an indigenous family whose daughter had tragically committed suicide at 14. I did not know the girl, had only met the father briefly. He was a back-slidden Christian who had attended our church a few times, but not for a long time, and didn’t know who else to turn to. I agreed to take the meeting. All of this girl’s friends from school and socially were present, well over 100, and I knew no one, and t was at the funeral chapel. The grief was intense, of course. Hardly anyone there was saved, but they wanted a Christian service. And, nervous though I was, God moved in power, I know, and many were touched. In those situations, the only thing you can do is lean totally on God. Pressure? Yes we do feel it sometimes, but NOT for the reasons you’re trying to pull out of the air. And, besides, in our weakness God’s power is made stronger.

  95. notice I said “the types of environment that exist” not type but types.

    I believe that in my own church, there is a coming battle with the Willow Creek style. I see the church beginning to “conform” with the Willow Creek style.

    Why is this a “bad thing”?

    Well, the leadership is clearly looking under pressure to conform … adopting the jargon and the theology of Rick Warren, but without having an open discussion about this.

    “Vision-Casting”, “Cell groups” and so on.

    The problem with “Vision-Casting” is it is based around one person “the leader”, when God may choose A.N.Other to speak a vision to the church.

    The problem with Cell groups is that they can be led by people with no theological understanding at all. 20 years ago, the elders/deacons/teachers led the small groups. Not any longer. You just need to have gone through an alpha course these days … then straight into a leadership position.

    “Yes” people are thrust into leadership … I find this time and again in business too.
    A complete absence of critical thinking means you are in trouble, both in business and in the church.

    Well … I think you can see why I am depressed about the state of my own church anyway.

    Shalom

  96. Facelift: “Sorry in advance to be strong about this, but the Osbornes were absolutely nothing to do with anything to do with the latter rain movement. What tosh! Obscenely ignorant. I do wish this horrible attempt at crushing goodness with such pathetic one liners would stop. It makes people look so foolish.”

    Found this:

    “David Pyches, who has authored a book extolling the Kansas City prophets, recounts the early clairvoyant talent of Paul Cain;

    “Paul’s mother, grandmother, and great grandmother had all been born with the gift of seeing. His great-grandmother would sometimes see things in broad daylight and ask her friend or family if they could see them too. If they said they could not, she would occasionally wave her hand upon them and they would immediately see the identical vision… Paul now found he was “seeing” also and would know things that were going to happen to classmates at school or were happening to absent friends. He knew simple things like who would end up with a bloody nose or who would win a race… By the age of nine “Little Brother” (as he was being affectionately referred to by adults, perhaps because it was the form of address used by the angel who spoke to him from time to time) began public preaching in a limited way… By the time Paul was about eighteen… he began traveling across America ministering as an evangelist and healer. Those were the early days of the healing movement which swept through the Pentecostal churches during the forties and fifties under the leadership of evangelists like William Branham, Oral Roberts, T.L Osborn, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe and many others well known in those days…

    There was a special bond between William Branham and Little Brother in the early days of Paul’s ministry. ..Sometimes when Branham could not meet a commitment, he would send Paul in his place. The extent of their spiritual “light” was phenomenal. When they called each other by phone one would often say to the other in fun, “You’re all right today. How am I?” and each would know the others state of health precisely On one occasion Mike Bickle had been complaining to his wife that he had “a bit of a sniffle” or a slight cold – something he rarely had – the phone rang, Bickle picked up the receiver and heard Paul on the line. He had heard about Paul’s gift so he said by way of a joke, “Hi, Paul! You’re all right today! How am I?” Immediately Paul answered him, “Why Mike, you’ve got a bit of a sniffle and you are all wet. Your hair is standing up on the left side of your head.” (Bickle had just gotten out the shower). (Pyches, pgs. 24,26,29,30.)”

    http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/orrel19.html

  97. Another snippet that mentions TL Osborn:

    Richard Riss in his work The Healing and Latter Rain Movement A survey of 20th-Century Revival movements in North America States. Two of the earliest and most influential healing evangelists of the mid- twentieth century were William M. Branham and Oral Roberts. Other Important figures included T. L. Osborn, Jack Coe, William Freeman, David Nunn, and Gordon Lindsay, who had helped to bring the ministry of William Branham into widespread recognition, used his talents to supply the movement with a degree of cohesiveness. Many of these men are the key players in the Latter Rain movement of which Riss is sympathetic to.

    http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain7.htm

  98. I wasn’t meaning to rattle your cage FL, just genuinely interested in the perspective of a pente-minister who earns his keep from “the ministry”

    The Mike Gug reminder was rather timely Wazza (lumberjack remark was funny!)
    Obviously, in that style of church, there is a pressure to have a “powerful testimony” and I really think that whole episode was just a symptom of a more wide-spread issue.

    Groupsects posted up a vid of Pringle praying for a guy that ended with him striking the man harder and harder so he would fall over. There is a sense as you’re watching it that the “prayer” is not over till the recipient hits the floor. I wonder how much of that is related to this topic? In other words, the minister feels responsible till there is some kind of obvious physical display of the “spirit”

    I was hoping FL could be a little more honest but I am out of luck it seems 🙂

  99. FL, I know they have to hear the gospel and it’s all included in God’s sovereign election. The beauty of all this is overwhelming. But He’s still the one who elects.

  100. “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, BECAUSE GOD HAS FROM THE BEGINNING CHOSEN YOU TO SALVATION THROUGH SANCTIFICATION OF THE SPIRIT AND BELIEF OF THE TRUTH: whereby he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)

  101. Specks, ther’s so much out there about the association of the Osborns with the Latter Rain movement but apparently we aren’t allowed to research, read and judge for ourselves because FL says so – who appointed you spiritual “authority” here FL? Something I see you trying to do.

    Years ago while still at C3, I discarded that group includung the Osborns. Back when we were still encouraged to be more discerning.

  102. teddy, s&p, Osborn was out of the healing revival, not latter rain. The healing revival is the connection. Read more carefully, and you will see it.

    Just about every evangelist in the US was involved in the healing revival, including men and women from many different streams. You can’t just lump everyone in the ‘latter rain’, or ‘NAR’ basket at your own whim. It completely wrecks any decent conversation. “Oh, he’s NAR!” “He’s latter rain!” That’s it then, is it?

    And on who’s say-so? ‘deceptioninthechurch.com’ Dear Jesus, help us, please! Is there anything they don’t think is deception. I’d hate to be a cat in one of their homes!!! Their so-called latter rain etc timeline is so funny I think I’ll go there every now and then if I need cheering up! Hilarious bending of history. Ignorance gone to seed!

    ‘because FL says so’

    You’re being childish, teddy. I don’t know everything, but tend to speak about things I do know. It’s safer that way. What I don’t know I research if I’m curious, or leave alone if I’m not.

    I am extremely certain about the Osborns, since I have studied the history of their ministry with interest.

    Teddy, everyone’s chosen to salvation in Christ. All are predestined in Him. That’s the point. Everyone falls, and then is redeemed. That’s why he went to the cross, to redeem us. Purchase us back form the wages of sin. Or what was the point of the cross? But all have to hear the gospel preached and respond. All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Whosoever calls on the name. Whosoever!

  103. Bill,
    ‘I was hoping FL could be a little more honest but I am out of luck it seems ‘

    You can accuse me of being wrong, or too wordy, or even a bit enthusiastic about my approach to life, ministry and doctrine, but dishonest? I think that’s over the top. How? I think that’s twice now you’ve tried to go down that path of self interest or dishonesty, and hide it with a smiley. Why not come out with it, Bill. What is it you want to really say?

    You think I push people over because I’m under pressure to perform? Is that it? I challenge you to line up a few mates and push them over one by one by putting you hand on their head. Give it a go. I know what will happen. They’ll resist you and stay standing. It’s very difficult. I set it up in Bible School session with students a couple of times to show them it’s almost impossible to push people over this way. It won’t work for you. But give it a go anyway.

    What you need is to allow the Holy Spirit get on people, then they fall.

    There’s a great YouTube vid of a Baptist Preacher who’s also a martial arts trainer (true) trying to ‘prove’ how Pentecostals ‘knock people down’. He actually slaps his victim with a karate move, and the guy goes down alright, completely senseless. he had to have a team to revive the poor guy. Yeah, right, that’s how we do it!!!! 🙂

  104. Seriouslt FL, when the scales fall off, I hope the fall into His sovereign grace, isn’t as painful for you as it was for me.

  105. There’s no biblical reference for men falling backwards unless under judgement FL. Falling forward on your face, now that’s another matter!

    I personally experienced PP and other C3 pastors (and we were ordained as lay pastors ourselves) try to push me over. This has happened not just in front of the church congregation but in private. They seem to need a sign that the Holy Spirit is at work by evidence of this for some reason. We’ve had them blow on us as if they’re influenced by the likes of Benny Hinn, I’ve seen jackets thrown over people, we’ve had ridiculious prophecies made over us – I’ve seen it all.

  106. And do you really know how many “discernment” sites are availble. Naming one or two you don’t like because you have your own agenda? Have an agenda (as I and many others have) that seeks to honestly search out the truth without your presuppositions (and I had plenty) and read the testimonies of those hurt and burnt, particularly ministers/pastors from different denominations.

  107. FL, of course you couldn’t “push” them over in a bible school setting. They know they’re not “receiving” and it’s an experiment. Speaking to many friends about this “phenomena”, people have told me they just let themselves fall ANYWAY!!!!!

    They admit to feeling absolutely nothing, and some confessed to not wanting to disappoint the pastor, for heaven’s sake!. In 22 years I never wanted a dishonest reaction, by me, to be seen by others – even at the most spiritually hungry points of my life.

    Can God touch us and move us? Of course, He can do that anywhere! And you know it’s real, (and there’s no need for sappy music playing in the background).

  108. We became so conditioned to accept this as the norm at C3 – even when some pastors questioned it. And I particularly loved guys like Pat Antcliff who would just quietly hold your hand and pray precious prayers over us – in English.

  109. I have personally experienced a ‘famous’ evangelist pushing me over. He first struck me on the forehead while my eyes were closed, and I was quite taken aback and struggled to regain my balance. It then became apparent that he wanted me to fall over, and would make a scene if I did not (and the crowd would have interpreted it as me making the scene), so eventually I did fall back.

  110. Rodney Howard-Browne was famous for this. Back in the days when C3 was at Brookvale, my husband, as a deacon, was standing behind someone who wouldn’t “receive” from Rodney. There was almost a punch-up! The gentleman in question felt quite threatened by the whole experience.

  111. FL, we will never agree on election on the basis of Romans 9.

    As difficult as unconditional election is (even for me) we can’t ignore something simply because we don’t like it. If God didn’t elect anyone, then no one would come to Him.

    We can go through our bibles and cross the words out we don’t like – but at the end of the day as God had stated clearly “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”

  112. Facelift: “You can accuse me of being wrong, or too wordy, or even a bit enthusiastic about my approach to life, ministry and doctrine, but dishonest? I think that’s over the top.”

    Not at all! How many times now have you come onto Signposts02 or GroupSects in different alias, sometimes lying your Facelift off? (Wait! What’s my name again? 🙂 )

    And I knew that you would have a problem with me quoting something from ‘Deception In The Church’. But thank goodness I didn’t quote ‘Deception in the Church’ at all, but rather a book writer who endorses the KCP and seemingly lumps TL Osborn among those with the Latter-Rainers. The other source confirms that to be true.

    So Facelift. Latter-Rainers see that TL Osborn is of the Latter Rain movement as well as those who aren’t apart of it. I tried to find information on David Psyches, but couldn’t find any. It is probably now an old document that was passed around these types of movements in the 80’s and 90’s.

    Facelift: “You think I push people over because I’m under pressure to perform?”

    You push people away from Signposts02 due to your fantastic performances. Do you know I actually get emails from people (who lurk!), complaining about your escapades on Signposts.

    Teddy: “The gentleman in question felt quite threatened by the whole experience.”

    Wow! That’s pretty intense!

  113. @ Specks – True story (of course), Rodney told him, in a very nasty way, that if he didn’t “take” it, the person behind him (my husband)would receive it! Needless to say, God didn’t “perform” on cue.

  114. SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT?
    BTW. I do believe in healing and speaking in tongues.
    I don’t believe in being slain in the Spirit, but I do know that John the Seer fell like a dead man at Jesus’ feet and that no priest could stand in the temple as the Presence of the Lord descended into it.

    I would say it’s a holy fear that makes our entire body not cope with the enormous reality of God sometimes being so real and present, that it falls terrified. Paul was terrified when Jesus came to him in such light and power. Has anyone tried to stand when paralyzed with fear?

    I personally have had an encounter like this and I was so shaken for all the right reasons. I think this ‘slain’ thing is bordering on the demonic – as people are worshiping these experiences rather than God. Origins in seeking divine experiences as such falls back into the occult or pagan worship.

    HEALING ON STAGE?
    With healing people with a camera or audience present, these are the people that Jesus warned us not to be!

    Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

    The street corner back then is the equivalent of the stage today. Greek sophists would stand on the corners of streets and parade their appearances, knowledge, one-liners, jokes, recent headlines, weather reports, wisdoms, teachings, signs and wonders. They would advertise events (ex. come to the local amphitheatre where I can entertain you further and where you can watch the play the play Odyssey), and hand out invites.

    This is why in the parable of the wedding feast it is said:

    Matthew 22:9 ‘Go to the STREET CORNERS and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’

    I wonder if this where Paul and Jesus went to on the streets to perform their signs and wonders? Hmm…

    They probably did. But Jesus accused those who ‘prayed’ in these places HYPOCRITES. We have forgotten the meaning of this word. Now that the camera is involved, the pressure is on to perform.

    Hypocrite simply means actor. That’s what we got today. And that’s already what the show is doing. It’s encouraging people to become hypocrites rather than to encourage people to walk closer with their invisible God.

    I wonder if this is why Jesus said:

    23:15″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites (fakers/actors)! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

    Does that mean they are made into a better actor or liar?

  115. I’ve been sent an email extract which explains a bit more about how the Believe TV sessions will be filmed:

    Thank you for registering your interest in being a part of the Believe TV Pilot Shoot on Monday 10th May 2010.

    We will be filming three sessions on the day as follows;
    Session 1: Arrive at 12:30pm for a 1:00pm start to 2:30pm
    Session 2: Arrive at 3:00pm for a 3:30pm start to 5:30pm
    Session 3: Arrive at 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start to 8:30pm

    Please note that you DO need to register to attend any of these sessions.

    Sounds exhausting!!

  116. In fact, having just read S&P’s last post, I do think that this is one of the dangers of the TV show format. That people will become ‘actors’ – literally what Jesus accused people of – for the sake of the cameras, and will even be scared not to perform. Like it or not, when a camera is there, people being focussed upon are very likely to feel some obligation to behave in a certain way, or risk spoiling the show. Without cameras, they are more likely to just behave as they feel at the time, whatever that is. However, with the camera, is expectation, and people do respond to that. So, perhaps for this reason alone, a show about ‘live’ sign’s and wonders isn’t a good idea.

    With 3 sessions filmed in one day, there will be at least an element of acting if the show is designed to eventually appear to happen over several weeks. If the pastors change clothes or greet the crowd differently depending upon the day, then we begin to see acting. This in itself could add to the expectation of performance.

    Its not really the same as just an ordinary church meeting with cameras that are always around so people forget about them, or even a healing meeting without cameras present.

  117. How would they “vet” the audience, will there be naysayers in the audience? Don’t worry FL, I’m not going.

    Will they think they need to create an atmosphere of “faith”?

    What happens if “we go right and God goes left”?

    Something to consider from Michael Patton if this doesn’t work out for the Kubalas…….

    “The anchor to our faith is the resurrection of Christ. Christ is not Lord because he rescues people from cancer, saves the depressed, or brings people back to life. He is Lord because Christ is risen. It is that simple. We will have many other anchors and so will you. But none of them compares to the anchor that is the resurrection of Christ. Hold on to those other anchors loosely, knowing that God is involved and can be praised in all things, but not necessarily in our interpretation of all things.”

  118. Wow a lot of replies since my last post, you guys are a busy lot.

    Firstly FL, I apologize if I have offended you, perhaps my wording was a bit out. What I meant to say was that I was disappointed you could not be more “genuine” about the pressures a pentecostal career minister faces with regard to “signs and wonders”
    You sort of wandered off into scripture quotes that didn’t really explain how you personally feel etc.

    I don’t think I ever accused you of “pushing people over” – did I? I merely made a reference to a vid Lance has up on the GS blog…

    I will say that the “power of suggestion” is a powerful little tool indeed when it comes to falling over. People probably don’t fall over in the ministry college setting that you suggested because at that particular time, they are not being conditioned to expect that they will.

    However, get some “worship” music in the background, have the pastor babble a mouthful of in-coherences (tongues anyone?) and then place his hand forcefully upon the subject and speak some vague words in a confident yet authoritative tone and you can bet your sweet you know what that little Johnny or Suzie will wilt like a leaf.

  119. Oh and speaking of quoting scripture, does anyone have any thoughts on:

    “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed” Matt 16:4

    Interesting that Christ says here “no sign shall be given it”?
    And yet, we know he performed many miracles. Was he saying these physical signs are actually, not really the signs we should be looking for? I think so!

  120. Stop stating the obvious Bill, do you want to leave us without anything to argue about!

  121. FL said “Teddy, everyone’s chosen to salvation in Christ. All are predestined in Him. That’s the point. Everyone falls, and then is redeemed”

    Wow, are you a universalist now FL? Take it from me, you’d better keep those ramblings to yourself or you could end up having to find another job 🙂

  122. Oops FL, I’m sure you’re not a universalist! Let’s get on the same side against Bill. 🙂 🙂

  123. Hah, well said Teddy!!!

    Wazza – can you divulge who the “famous” evil-angel-hiss was layed hands on you?

  124. Bill,
    Apology accepted. But wasn’t Jesus performing signs and wonders around the time the lawyers asked him for a sign? You know, like healing, miracles, deliverance, raising the dead, turning water into wine, walking on water, feeding 5,000 with a few loaves and fish. I think you’d better check the context. John the Baptist sent a servant to ask if Jesus was the Messiah, and Jesus give him a list of signs that he was the Messiah, including healing, deliverance, miracles, the dead raised, etc. Is that a contradiction, or a different thing altogether?

    Teddy, s&p,
    I have a wonderful old book on the healing revival by D E Harrell, a contemporary of the revival, who chronicled the events, including the good, the bad, and the ugly, from an independent observer’s perspective (he was not involved in it, but looking at it).

    It is fascinating. He only mentions anything to do with latter rain twice, right at the beginning. One was quote by David duPlessis, grandfather of the charismatic revival, who likened the extraordinary revival of healing of the 40’s & 50’s as a ‘spontaneous move of the Holy Spirit’, which was taken by others to refer to Joel’s promise of former and latter rain. Remember that they were not yet at the beginning of the charismatic move of the 60’s and 70’s, when millions were filled with the Spirit and began to speak in tongues.

    It was quite Biblical for them to liken such an incredible revival, as it was, to an outpouring as great as Joel prophesied, and link it with a promised outpouring of the former and latter rain, although it is easy for us to see today that the outpouring Joel referenced began on the day of Pentecost. But don’t forget, in the 40’s speaking in tongues was mostly confined to the Pentecostal churches of the day, which were a much smaller group than today.

    Secondly, the author of the, then, Pentecostal Evangel, Stanley Frodsham, started talking of the move as the beginning of the latter rain of Joel, but was soundly criticised by his AOG colleagues, and later resigned as editor. Those are the only mentions of any connection in the entire book. it would occur to me that someone writing so accurately and critically of the events of the time, being close up to the events, would make a serious note if there were a Latter rain movement involved. Instead the focus on what was generally seen as a Healing Revival. Osborn was a part of this.

    The Latter Rain movement was quite separate from this. It came out of a series of meetings involving the Kansas City Prophets. Paul Cain isn’t even mentioned in Harrell’s book. He didn’t come onto the scene until along time after the Healing Revival of the 40’s and 50’s began to wind down, and evolve into the charismatic revivals of the 60’s and 70’s. Osborn, as far as I know has no link to Kansas City, being based in Tulsa.

    Now it is very possible that people like Cain and Deere were influenced to a degree by the Healing Revival and the Charismatic Revival, in fact very probable, but the linking of the two is a rewriting of history, as far as i am concerned, and one of the dangers of poorly researched internet theology.

    There have been hundreds of references to Joel’s scriptures on the former and latter rain by hundreds of ministers. It is a very compelling passage, and there is a wonderful study in the Word referencing these scriptures, but that doesn’t make every minister or ministry which refers to Joel or other latter rain verses a part of the Latter Rain movement you are targeting.

    That is my case in a nutshell.

    And who the flip is David Psyches? Whatever! You read it again. He says the Osborns were out of the Healing Revival, not the Latter Rain Movement. They were influential, not causal. Big difference.

  125. Bill,
    that’s typical of Universalist theology to take a portion if what is said and make a doctrine out of it, leaving out the important bits! 😀

    The full paragraph went hence:

    ‘Teddy, everyone’s chosen to salvation in Christ. All are predestined in Him. That’s the point. Everyone falls, and then is redeemed. That’s why he went to the cross, to redeem us. Purchase us back form the wages of sin. Or what was the point of the cross? But all have to hear the gospel preached and respond. All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Whosoever calls on the name. Whosoever!’

    I could have put it better, however! I’ll work on it.

  126. Ah yes the context argument FL.

    “For God so loved the world…” – but remember, God only loves the world in the context of John 3:16!

    Your quote – “Whosoever calls on the name. Whosoever!”

    Erm… didn’t I read somewhere “every tongue will confess and every knee shall bow”?

    My mistake, that only happens in the context of Romans 14:11 right? Gotta keep it all in context!

    Question – is it’s OK to have sex with an animal?

    The context of Leviticus 18:23 is Moses speaking to the ancient Jewish nation of Israel so obviously, that doesn’t apply to me right?

    Just trying to keep these things in context 🙂

  127. Well let’s get a fuller context:

    ‘Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’

    ‘Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.’

    Oh, when they see him as the One with name that is above every name, they will bow their knee and confess that he is Lord. That is the recognition of his Lordship, which will be seen by sinner and saint alike, angels holy and fallen, principalities and powers, all will bow, or did you not see that he mentions those that are under the earth, as well as above.

    As a result of this powerful revelation of his greatness, he tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

    The name above every name.

    ‘…far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.’

    The Church, the Body of Christ, it is then that is above al power and might and dominion and authority; in Him, who places all else but His Body under his feet. You have to be in the Church to be in this place, seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, above all else.

    Who, then can be in the Church? Those who confess Jesus as Lord. How shall they confess if they have not heard? How shall they hear if there is no preacher? How shall they preach if they are not sent?

    Whosoever is anyone, but they still have to call on the name of the Lord to be saved.

    Every knee will bow, but not all will be saved. How do I know?

    “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Those who believe will be saved, those who do not believe will be condemned.’

    John 3:16-21
    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

    “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

    “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

    Now that is context!

  128. of course, you are all wrong as none of you think that it is possible to lose our salvation …

    Hebrews 6 asks the question, (paraphrased) “is it possible to regain your salvation once it is lost? No, because you have crucified Him afresh and there is no more forgiveness once you do that.”

    Yes, a terrible paraphrase but that is my understanding of that part of scripture.

    That alone tells me it is possible to backslide beyond the point of no return.

    He does keep you … but eventually, if you harden your heart towards him for too many times, His patience runs out, and He will harden your heart for you. Game over.

    Shalom

  129. In fact, I would agree from Hebrews 6:4-6 & 11:35-39 on this possibility, Bull. Clearly there is a way to lose salvation. And that’s a very good point you raise.

    How does anyone answer this who believes either in a Universalist view, or Calvinist. How does someone be elect and then deselect themselves by turning their back on Christ?

  130. John 3:16

    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

    Needs to be understood in the following paraphrase:

    In just the same way, God [once] Agape’d the human race by giving His only natural Son, that whoever [goes on] believing in Him will never perish but [go on] having everlasting and abundant life.

    It is not “for God soooooooooooooooo” as if to say that God, in a feeble hand-wringing kind of way loves the world so much.

    Agape is in the Aorist tense (a one off action).
    believes is in the present continuous tense, as is have which means this is something that continues to happen … continually.

    The first part, translated by me as “In just the same way” begs the question, “in just the same way as what?”

    Check out numbers and John 3:14 and 15.

    As the snake was lifted up in the desert so must the Son of Man be lifted up.

    In the context of the private conversation with Nicodemus, it is clear that John 3:16 and onwards to the end of the section is not spoken by Jesus. It is John’s comment on the private conversation Jesus was having with the recognised teacher of Israel.

    The context of the whole Gospel is John desperately trying to keep believers orthodox in the faith. It is a book that desperately needs to be read by the new “apostles” … because they are in real trouble with respect to their doctrine.

    Shalom

  131. I Agree with FL’s context there. Messages crossed.

    Interesting that we are both in John 3. It’s also interesting that the same John that told us “God is love” is the one who tells us that there are some “who are condemned already”.

    time for coffee methinks

  132. About John 3:16 – with thanks to Jim McClarty

    Question –
    Whenever I’m discussing salvation and “free will” with someone, they always seem to retreat to John 3:16. They say, “Look right there! It says ‘whosoever’ believes will be saved! That means that anyone who wants to can accept Jesus and be saved!”
    How do you answer that?

    Jim –
    Good question! You’re right, John 3:16 has become the bedrock “proof text” of everyone who argues against the doctrine of election or divine predetermination. So, let’s see if that verse is actually saying what these folk are convinced it says. Because, if it does, we’re in hot water! But, if it doesn’t, we really ought to be able to offer a sound, indisputable response.

    First, let’s look at John 3:16 as it appears in the King James Version:
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    The first thing that should be obvious is that the English rendering of this verse begins with the word “for.” That means that it is the conclusion of an argument. It’s the summary statement. So, we need to look at this verse in its larger context. Here is the whole passage:

    “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:12-18)

    “Whosever believeth”
    Let’s start by addressing the heart of the argument and then we’ll get into the details. The word “whosever” appears twice in this passage. In both instances, it is used in regard to faith – “whosoever believes.” The implication of this English phrase is that anyone who wishes to may exert his will and freedom of choice in order to believe something about Christ. Anyone who would like to can exercise his or her right and faculty to have (or not have) faith. The consequences of their faith (or lack of it) are then the result of that person’s free and unencumbered choice.

    But, there’s a problem. And, it’s a big problem. The New Testament was not written in English, any less the King’s English. It was written in Greek. And, there is no Greek equivalent for the English word “whosoever.”
    That’s important. So much so that it bears repeating.

    There is no Greek equivalent for the English word “whosoever.”

    The Apostle John did not write, “Whosoever believeth.” That word construction was never part of his original letter. What he did write was, “pas ho pisteuoon.” The two little Greek words “pas ho” are literally translated “all the.” “Pisteuoon” is a form of the word “pisteuo,” the verb form of “pistis,” or “faith.”

    The King James translators’ choice of the single word “whosoever” to translate the two-word phrase “pas ho” was not an entirely errant decision. In the King’s English, “whosoever” did not have the connotation of randomness or free choice that it has come to represent in contemporary English. Originally, “whosoever” designated a particular group – as in “whosoever possesses these certain qualities.” In this case, the group included only those who believed, as opposed to those who did not.

    But, more to the point, “pas ho” simply does not mean “anyone at all who chooses to exercise their choice.” It specifically means “all the” and it serves to designate a particular group of people who share a defining characteristic -“faith” or “believing.”

    So, when we read, “whosoever believeth,” we must understand that what John literally wrote was “all the believing.” In other words, the benefits of God’s love are not indiscriminately available to anyone who chooses to possess them. Only the particular group – “all the believing” – are gifted with eternal life.
    Now, with that bit of exegesis in mind, let’s dig into John’s use of “pas ho pisteuo” in the larger context.
    “Even so must the son of man be lifted up.”

    This passage comes on the heels of Jesus’ instruction to Nicodemus concerning being “born again.” Nicodemus, struggling to grasp Jesus’ teaching, asked, “How can these things be?” In response, Jesus rebuked him for being a teacher in Israel while failing to understand the fundamentals of God’s relationship with His people.

    “Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:9-12)

    Overall, it’s a rather stinging indictment. Jesus insisted that He was speaking the things He knew for certain as a firsthand witness, yet Nicodemus refused to accept His testimony. Jesus concluded that if Nicodemus could not understand the movement and working of the Holy Spirit on Earth, he would never believe the things Jesus could tell him about Heavenly activity.

    So, Jesus began to explain His authority. No one has ever gone into Heaven to scope it out and bring back a report. But, the Son of God was intimately acquainted with details of the Heavenly realm. His is the only true account because He is the only true witness.

    Then, Jesus reached back into Israel’s history and reminded Nicodemus of a particular event. After their great victory at Hormah, the children of Israel journeyed by the Red Sea, circumventing the land of Edom, and they began to murmur and complain about the lack of water. They had grown to loathe the daily manna and complained about the lack of other food, even longing for their days in Egypt. So God sent poisonous serpents into the camp and many of the people died.

    So Israel recognized their sin and adjured Moses to intercede for them. Moses prayed for the people and God instructed him to create a brass replicate of the poisonous snake and raise it on a pole above the people. God promised that everyone who had been bitten and looked on the brass serpent would live.

    Jesus drew a parallel between Himself and that brass serpent. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, likewise Jesus would be lifted up. And, just as those who looked to the serpent – knowing the instruction and believing God’s promise – were healed of their deadly wound and lived, so everyone who had faith in the atoning work of Christ would receive the healing of their sinful wound and gain eternal life. The serpent on a pole typified Jesus on the cross.

    “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15)

    Now, the words “should not perish, but …” were added by the translators and are not in the original text. Verse 15 literally reads, “That all the (pas ho) believing in Him have life eternal.” The phrase “should not perish” infers that the benefits of believing would be granted at some future date. But, Jesus stated that the present reality of faith was proof that “all the believing” had already inherited, and were in possession of, the promise of eternal life.

    The New American Standard Version more definitely reads:

    “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15)

    In other words, Jesus was lifted up on the cross and everyone who has faith in His atoning work already possesses the promise of eternal life. That is a distinct group. Those who did not look at the serpent in the wilderness were not healed. Likewise, those who do not rest in Christ’s finished atonement for their salvation will not inherit eternal life.

    Now, that’s quite different from saying that Jesus was lifted up on the cross and anyone who chooses to believe in Him will (future tense) receive the gift of life. Rather, Jesus said that the very fact of faith or believing was the evidence that those people already possessed the gift of eternal life. Their faith was simply an outgrowth of the life (zoe) that indwelt them.

    Or, more plainly, Christians do not earn eternal life as the result of their decision to believe. They believe because they were ordained to eternal life.

    “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:48)

    “For God so loved”
    Now, that’s all the build-up to the verse in question. (For the members of our congregation, that was all introduction and technically does not count against my time.)

    The next two words John wrote were “houtoos gar,” literally meaning “so for.” To make the words flow in English, the word “so” was pushed back into the sentence structure and “for” became the opening word. But, we need to understand each of these words. “Houto” (the root of “houtoos”) means “in this manner” or “after this fashion.” That’s the same way we use the word “so” when we instruct a child to do something “just so.”

    We mean, do it “like this,” or “after this manner.”

    In the modern readings of John 3:16, folk get the impression that John was exclaiming, “God loves the world ssssooooo much!” But, that was not John’s meaning. He said, “For in this manner (the aforementioned lifting up of Christ) God demonstrated His love.”

    “the world”
    The next question we must ask is: “Who are the recipients of this love?”

    The common reading of John 3:16 insists that God loved “the whole world” – meaning “everyone who has ever lived.” And, He loved them immensely. After all “God ssssoooo loved the world!”

    That’s emotionally appealing, but it’s not what John wrote. The word “world” is the Greek “kosmos.” While it is true that “kosmos” sometimes denotes “every part and parcel of the whole earth,” most often it means, “people of all kindred, tribes and nations, as opposed to Israelites exclusively.” This variation of meaning becomes obvious as we look at the Apostle John’s own use of this word. He employed the word “kosmos” 82 times in his gospel. Here’s just a sampling.

    “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” (John 1:10)

    Jesus was in the world – a reference to both the planet and its inhabitants. And, he made the world – the physical structure was created and is sustained by Him. And, the world knew Him not – the people did not recognize Him.

    In that short verse we get three different nuances of the single word “kosmos.”

    “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

    John was saying one of two things, here. Either he was saying:

    1) Behold the sacrificial lamb (typified by Israel’s sin offerings) that will remove every sin of every person who ever lived. Or,
    2) Behold the sacrificial lamb that will remove not only the sin of Israelites but of people from every kindred, tribe, tongue and nation.

    If statement number 1 is true, then every sin of every person who ever lived was paid for at Calvary and God cannot judge anyone on the basis of their actions, thoughts, deeds, rebellion or even unbelief, inasmuch as those sins are all paid for.

    If statement number 2 is true, then the word “kosmos” can be used in a more narrow sense that includes people of all nations, but not every single person of all nations. As we’ll see, number 2 is the more tenable and exegetically consistent reading of that verse.

    “For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.” (John 7:4)

    In this verse, Jesus’ brothers were encouraging Him to go up to the feast at Jerusalem, work some miracles and spread His fame. But obviously, the whole world was not at Jerusalem. They were simply saying, “Go make yourself public.” But again, this shows the narrow scope that is possible with the word “kosmos.”

    “The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? Behold, the world is gone after him.” (John 12:19)

    Likewise, the Pharisees did not mean to claim that people on distant continents were following Jesus at that moment. But, a large crowd in Jerusalem did. So again we see an example of the narrow scope of “kosmos.”

    “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” (John 7:7)

    Here, Jesus spoke of the “kosmos” hating Him. But, not everyone who ever lived hated Him. Rather, Jesus spoke of the majority of the populace who stood against Him. He may even have been referring to the religions and governmental systems that stood in opposition to His Lordship. But importantly, He did not mean that “everyone who ever lived” opposed Him.

    “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” (John 13:1)

    In this verse, John drew a distinction between the “kosmos” and those that Jesus loved. In other words, those that belonged to Him were in the world and He loved them to the end. But, he contrasted them with “the world.” That’s a critical distinction. So critical, in fact, that Jesus went on to pray only for His own beloved people, but not for the world.

    “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” (John 17:6-9)

    So, if “kosmos” means “everybody who ever lived,” and God “ssssoooo loved” them, why would Jesus draw this line of demarcation between the world and “the men which thou gavest me out of the world”? Jesus prayed specifically for those people God gave Him (“for they are thine”) and He specifically did not pray for “the world.”

    Again, “kosmos” does not always mean “everyone who ever lived.” It most often means “people of every nationality as opposed to Israelites exclusively.”

    The fact of the matter is: If God so loved everybody who ever lived that He gave His only begotten Son to die for everybody who ever lived, then Jesus was in direct opposition to His Father when – just prior to being lifted up on the cross – He failed to pray for everybody who ever lived.

    But, the reality is…
    Neither Jesus nor John ever taught that God loved and paid the sin penalty for everybody who ever lived.
    Allow me to offer two last verses that will prove that Jesus created a distinction between those that were His and the “kosmos.”

    “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

    The Holy Ghost is the “proof positive” of salvation. He is the “token” of the New Covenant of salvation by grace through faith. Only those who receive the Holy Ghost (the very subject of Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus in John 3) will receive eternal life.

    Yet, Jesus said that the world “cannot receive” the Spirit of Truth. In fact, the world does not see him or know him. On the other hand, the apostles did know him because he would be with them and in them.
    So, if God loved everybody who ever lived so much that He gave His Son for their sins, why is it that those same people – the world – cannot receive the Holy Ghost that is essential for salvation?

    “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)
    Now attempt to read that verse and substitute “everybody who ever lived” for the word “world.” Suddenly, the verse makes no sense at all. Here, I’ll do it for you –

    “If you were part of everybody who ever lived, then everybody who ever lived would love his own; but you are not part of everybody who ever lived, but I have chosen you out of everybody who ever lived, therefore everybody who ever lived hates you.”

    Quite a jumble, eh? There’s only one conclusion. “Kosmos” simply does not mean “everybody who ever lived.”

    A quick recap
    So, what have we got so far? We’ve got this:

    For (gar) God so (in this manner) loved (agapao) the world (people from every nationality) that…
    Or in context, Jesus said,

    “Remember how Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness and those who looked on it were healed? Likewise, the son of man will be lifted up and all those who believe in Him will have everlasting life. For, God will demonstrate His sacrificial love for people of all nations in this manner …

    And, here’s the manner.

    “his only begotten son”
    Once again, I prefer the Greek construction of this phrase. It literally reads, “that son, his only begotten, he gave.”

    This is the manner in which God demonstrated His gracious, sacrificial love for His people that were in the world. He gave. He gave His Son. He gave His only begotten Son.

    Just as God provided a solution to the rampant death caused by the fiery serpents in the camp, God also provided a solution for the rampant death that eats mercilessly and terrifyingly through humanity. As the serpent was raised up, Christ was raised up. Those who looked on the serpent were healed and those who believe on the Son are healed. Those who were healed by the serpent did not die physically. Those who are healed by the Son have eternal life.

    “that all the believing in him”
    As mentioned above, the proper rendering of the phrase “that whosoever believes” is “all the believing.” It is not an infinite group made up of all those who exercise themselves to believe. It is an exclusive group made up only of those who actually do believe in the finished atoning work that Christ fully accomplished on His cross.

    As we will see when we get to verse 18, this stands in stark contrast to “he that believeth not.”

    “should not perish”
    On this occasion, the phrase “should not perish” actually does appear in the original text. The good likelihood is that, due to familiarity, an early copyist inserted this phrase in verse 15.
    John’s point here is that “all the believing” in Christ will not suffer eternal separation from God. Those who failed to look on the brazen serpent died. Those who fail to trust Christ will perish eternally. Again, verse 18 will make this abundantly clear.

    “but have everlasting life”
    As opposed to perishing, “all the believing” as a distinct group “have” (the Greek “echo,” a present holding and possession) “zoe aioonion,” life everlasting.

    So, let’s put John 3:16 back together in light of this quick exegesis:

    “For in this manner God sacrificially loved people from every nationality, in that His son, His only begotten, he gave, so that all the believing in Him should not perish, but possess life everlasting.”

    What this is, then, is a promise from God of the eternal security of the believer, rather than an open invitation to “whosoever will.” And, the ultimate demonstration of God’s love for His own people was demonstrated in His willingness and decree to sacrifice His own Son on their behalf. Everyone who believes, trusts and rests on the final, sufficient atonement wrought in Christ has no fear of perishing, but already possess the life eternal.

    Jesus’ Summary Statement
    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:17-18)

    The proper understanding of “kosmos” becomes plainer in verse 17. God did not send His Son into the world – among people of every kindred, tribe, tongue and nation – for the purpose of condemning them. The Old Testament is replete with promises that when the Messiah, David’s greater son, came into the world, He would reestablish the Kingdom of Israel and judge the nations. So, when Jesus began being recognized as the promised Deliverer, expectations of national prominence ran high.

    But, Jesus was clear that His mission was not one of judgment and condemnation. Rather, He came into the mix of peoples and races so that, through Him, people of all nationalities could be saved.

    But, then Jesus broke all of humanity down into two groups: those who believed and those who did not. Those who were in the state of “believing on Him” constitute the “all the believing” group of John 3:16 – they are one and the same people. Jesus knows those that are His. They are the recipients of the grace of God that leads to salvation.

    But, to the contrary, those people who are in the state of unbelief – “he that believes not” – are “condemned already.” The fact that they are living mortal lives is merely a temporary reprieve from the condemnation that awaits them. That’s utterly shocking to our sensibilities. It seems unfair.
    But, it’s not unfair. It’s sovereign. It’s the way the King rules His creation.

    Now, this contrast between the believing and the unbelieving begs the inevitable question, “How can Jesus state so categorically that people who failed to believe on Him were already in a state of condemnation? I mean, couldn’t they at some later point exercise their wills, choose to believe and transfer their eternal state to one of redemption and everlasting life?”

    The answer is implicit in John 3:16. “All the believing” have everlasting life. The inverse is axiomatically true. All the unbelieving do not. And, that’s why John 3:16 should not be removed from its larger context. John 3:18 spells out the whole paradigm in NO uncertain terms.

    So, In Conclusion
    Despite its popularity, John 3:16 actually proves the absolute inverse of what the “free will” crowd contend. While they insist that this verse throws open the door of salvation to anyone and everyone who will take advantage of it, John declared that those who believe on Christ are eternally secure while those who are in a state of unbelief are already condemned.

    Salvation, then, must be God’s enterprise, determining from the beginning the saved from the unsaved, the lost from the found, the elect from the world, and those with eternal life from those who are eternally condemned.

    And, John 3:16 proves it.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    Credit where credit is due:
    This article relied heavily on exegetical work done by Dr. James White, of Alpha and Omega ministries. You can visit them at:
    http://www.aomin.org

  133. Bull: “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed” Matt 16:4

    Interesting that Christ says here “no sign shall be given it”?”

    I’ve read the bible a few times and have enjoyed God’s rhetoric and satire. In light of the Pharisees ALWAYS demanding signs and wonders as PROOF, they never saw them. Therefore, no sign was given to them because they refused to see the ‘signs’. A classic example of this was where they held scrutiny against the blind man he was healed from his blindness.

    Even the blind man was shocked that they did not receive the healing ‘sign’ as proof that Jesus was their Lord.

    So truly, they did not receive any sign to convince them of the truth. It’s like performing magic tricks to a blind man.

    The one ‘sign’ that indeed Jesus did leave them was the sign of Jonah. In examining the ‘sign of Jonah’, not only was he in darkness for three days, but his ministry from God was to Gentiles.

    When the Jews started hearing news that a certain type of Jews known as ‘believers’ were starting to include ‘Genttiles’ into their God’s covenant, this was also the ‘sign of Jonah’ being felt by the Jewish religious sect.

    This was a sign that the Jewish religious sect indeed witnessed, as well as hearing the disciples testimonies, of:
    1. Jesus being the one thrown over board so that the wrath of God would spare those at sea…
    2. … Who remained dead for three days and…
    3. … Spat out on the third.
    4. Jesus preaching to Gentiles to repent and come into fellowship with YHWH.

    It was indeed a prophetic sign… And one that they were forced to witness and swallow. Yet they still seemed to spit it out. 😉

  134. Bull: “Hebrews 6 asks the question, (paraphrased) “is it possible to regain your salvation once it is lost? No, because you have crucified Him afresh and there is no more forgiveness once you do that.””

    Wow! I’ll have to study that! (Study meaning that I will have to interpret it in a way that fits into my theology! 😀 )

  135. He had my attention and was going quite well for a while, then he tried to justify his doctrine by altering the context of scripture. I’m sorry, you can’t do that. For instance:

    ‘Neither Jesus nor John ever taught that God loved and paid the sin penalty for everybody who ever lived.’

    Well that is plainly heresy, in the sense that it is a belief or opinion contrary to orthodox doctrine. I have to really look at this a few times over and rub my eyes to actually believe he wrote it.

    Jesus died once and for all! Greek word; ‘ephapax’, ‘all at once and once for all’. A wonderful word full of meaning for us all.

    Romans 6:10
    For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

    Hebrews 9:12
    Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

    Jesus died once and for all. That is a central tenet of accepted orthodox faith. He can’t die for all and not for all at the same time. It is for all or a specific group. If he only died, as the writer would have us believe, for an elect group, then why didn’t the wrier of Hebrews say, ‘He died once for a few’, or ‘He died once for the elect’? Why did he stress that his death was a one time event for all people?

    ‘Whoever’ comes up in more than one place using more than one Greek word. I can agree with some of McClarty’s thinking, but his manoeuvring of scripture to prove his point in this regard isn’t a good look I’m afraid.

    ‘So, if God loved everybody who ever lived so much that He gave His Son for their sins, why is it that those same people – the world – cannot receive the Holy Ghost that is essential for salvation?’

    That is simply answered, and scripturally.

    The world cannot receive the Spirit of Truth because it won’t believe. Jesus is rather obviously talking about the unbelieving world, which denies Christ. He has already stated that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and that no one comes to the Father but by Him. As evidence that they are received by the Father, he will send the Spirit of Truth. ‘But you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you’.

    So this is not evidence of an elect for whom Christ died and shed his blood, but that there are those who will receive his free pardon, and those that will deny him.

    I think it more likely that the translators of the Bible we know and love got it right in the first place, and whoever, or even all that believe is the correct context here, and there is no case whatsoever for separating one type of person form another, and more than we separate groups where we are told that ‘all’ have sinned, and fallen short. Same word. Same meaning.

    There’s more, but it’s late.

    It troubles me that he has said that Jesus and John never said that Jesus died form the sins of the whole world. That is scary!

  136. I decided to edit your post Teddy to make it bearable for me and others to read. I hope you don’t mind. 😉

  137. I do agree with Facelift on that point, but I found it a good read nonetheless.

    There have been some great comments on this thread. But if it keeps going the way it is going, we’ll probably have to start a new thread.

    Back to the Kubala’s!

  138. That’s ok, Specks, I was out last night, and linked the whole post rather than as an attachment.

    FL, you, like me, don’t like to have your biblical world view threatened. Do you have a degree in biblical languages? I don’t. Did I like these words being translated and not fit my original view. No!
    I was unaware that I even held those views until it was put before me by men equipped of God to accurately translate biblical languages.

    You can’t “make” the language suit your view – many have come from your perspective and tried to do that and have ended convinced otherwise. Particularly good bible scholars like James White.

    Take up dialogue with them yourself, Fl, but be sure you put yourself on a level playing field by learning the biblical languages.

    And just to give you a head start, here’s James White’s bio so you can get prepared…

    http://www.aomin.org/articles/bio.html

  139. Wow FL really takes the carrot and then some doesn’t he???

    FL for whatever it is worth, I think more people on here would be far more interested in what you have to say if you were a little more transparent about your feelings/thoughts/struggles and a little less over-the-top with the cut and paste (look mum, my ctrl+c buttons work!) from the bible. Nothing wrong with a scripture quote of course but just sayin…

    No Teddy, not going along to the Kubala side-show.
    Wazza – any word on the famous heretic who mauled you?

  140. FL seems appointed himself pastoral “watchdog” since he’s been allowed back on this blog! 😦 It’s a C3 thing, we must be seen to have a leader. Can’t let the sheep graze for fresh food/greener pastures etc.

  141. It was Bishop Harry Westcott (part of the old guard). In the same meeting he also told people to bring money and lay it at his feet. I will never forget the look of entitlement on his face as he stood in a huge pile of $20 and $50 notes.

  142. Personal attacks are not necessary. I have said I am here with my own views and not the views of any organisation. That should be enough for everyone. If you wish me to put a disclaimer on every comment I will.

    I am currently discussing doctrine, Bill, so scripture use is relevant. If you prefer I’ll hand type every verse, but it would say or mean anything less or more than it does. I do not cut and paste my own views on scripture, however.

    Teddy,
    what I commented on was McClarty’s declaration that Jesus did not die once and for all people. That has nothing to do with the Greek. I am a Greek student rather than a scholar, but I can appeal to orthodoxy from those who are experts.

    I was actually very interested in McClarty’s take on the verse, and, as I said, going along quite nicely with him until he made that statement. It is absolutely not orthodox.

    He said:
    ‘But, the reality is…
    Neither Jesus nor John ever taught that God loved and paid the sin penalty for everybody who ever lived.’

    Now what surprised me was the way in which this teaching has panned out. Is it a generally held view of Reformed Theologians? Or is it the view of McClarty and White, whom he credits with this doctrine?

    You see, I had this thought the other day, which I immediately dismissed, that the doctrine of the elect isn’t so far removed from JW’s doctrine of the 144,000, ot just gives salvation to far more people, but the essence and exegesis must be similar to work. As I said, I shook that off, but what McClarty says is exactly this.

    JW’s make it so that only the 144,000 can be born again, filled with the Spirit, sealed with the Spirit, the new creature, sanctified, justified, glorified, etc, etc, so everyone else is at God’s mercy.

    McClarty is practically saying that only certain people are set apart for salvation, and the rest are not. he is saying ‘theere is no whosoever’, there is only a select group, and tat is who Jesus addresses in John 3:16, not the whole world at all. Extraordinary doctrine, and a major shift from orthodoxy.

    The question is, God says that, since the cross, he does not impute anyone’s trespasses against them (2 Cor.5:17-21).

    Does this include those who are not in the elect, or are the elect the only ones to receive this work of the cross? And, if so, does this mean that God still imputes trespasses to those who are not the elect, making the work of the cross limited, and the atonement, limited to a certain group, but not all?

    These are important questions now that McClarty has shown his hand.
    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    Disclaimer:
    All comments and opinions are purely my own and do not officially represent the views of any organisation I may be connected to.

  143. What do you do with Ehesians 1 and Romans 9, FL?

    This from a small piece of paper I keep in my Bible……If Christ died for every single person, but not every person gets saved, then the atonement is limited in power. It did not accomplish fully what Christ meant it to do.

    If Christ died only for the elect, then the atonement did exactly what Christ wanted it to do. It was full powerful but limited in scope.

    Does this mean Christ’s death is not completely successful if there are people in hell?

    A comment made by a former arminian ………”One night as I was reading John 17 it “hit me”. If Jesus was God ANYTHING He would ask for would be granted. His prayers were a sure thing…and He didn’t pray for the world to be saved. He prayed for those given to Him by the Father. Our High Priest with His elect on His breastplate”

  144. Was not a “personal attack” FL, just an observation.
    You come across (to me at least) as highly volatile and edgy; almost as if you are waiting to unleash all scriptural hell on unsuspecting commenter’s and prove your intellectual superiority.

    Teddy I appreciate your observations above although my take is rather quite different to yours.

    Wazza – not heard of the Bishop Harry. Am cringing at the money at his feet though!

  145. That’s what good about this blog Biil, we agree to disagree and still enjoy the debate.

  146. Isn’t it alright to think about this but remain ‘unsure’ about it? I see cases for both.

    On the polar side of our Gemstone’s facet, is the other side of God. I do see myself coming across more often on Teddy’s side for personal reasons.

    When it comes to teaching others about God, I too swing to speak from Teddy’s point of view. I call this my anchor view.

    But when it comes to pray for myself and others, I see God moving freely through me and others. When on the blogs, it seems I see God leave some ministries and empower others that really desire Him to bring goodness to their meetings and communal relationships. I call this my freedom view.

    I believe in the sovereignty of God.
    I believe He chooses who He saves. (I have personally witnessed this for myself and others.)
    BUT
    I believe He can withdraw His Spirit from someone who openly does not want Him. (But I am afraid to see God do this to anyone.)
    I believe He can come into someone’s life if they’ve invited Him in.

    When it comes to healing, I’ve declared His healing over someone and stepped out in faith, and He has healed. But I’ve also been ‘Lord if You are willing’, and sometimes He has and sometimes He hasn’t to heal someone.

    I found that when I am confident in Him, in that instant, my view of Him changes.
    If I am unsure where He is in a situation, in that situation I am more careful, considerate and humble in my prayer towards someone to get healing.

    Maybe I’m confused. 😉

  147. Our prayer to God:

    Person: “God. Are the Arminian’s right or are the Calvanist’s right?”

    God: “You’ll find out.”

  148. “Isn’t it alright to think about this but remain ‘unsure’ about it? I see cases for both.” – S&P

    Well, nowhere are we told that having these doctrines completely correct is essential for our salvation, so I think we can remain unsure. Or even sure but wrong.

    I only read part of Teddy’s post before I had to rush off, despite finding it interesting, and will try to go back and read it and the responses if I get the chance.

    However I did read wazza’s shorter comment re the money at the Bishop’s feet! Incredible!

  149. I was with him almost all the way along, actually, until he comes to a completely different conclusion to the one I came to!

    He also ignores the present continuous tense with respect to believing continuously and having abundant life continuously.

    Most of the understanding of John 3:16 presented is the same as the one I presented but with a lot more writing!

    there are clearly two sides of the same coin of understanding here. Too much emphasis one way and it’s all free will, too much emphasis the other way and it’s only the elect that are saved.

    hmm.

    Shalom

  150. That is exactly how I think about the issue Bull – two sides of the same coin, we cant really grasp the truth of it unless we see both sides (which seem on the surface to be opposites).

    Plus its not much of a concern to me because I cant see how it would affect my life or actions that much if I found out I really had no free will.

    The important thing is not to be an extremist on either side. Thats really the only guaranteed way to get it wrong.

  151. Re FL’s disclaimer :

    “All comments and opinion are purely my own and do not officially represent the views of any organisation I may be connected to.”

    In actuality FL, since this blog discussed CCC and related movements, and you are a leader in one of those movements, then you are a representative of your organisation in this forum.

    Like it or not, people will form views about your organisation from what you say and also the way you say it. Legally also, your organisation may be held responsible for what you say in this forum.

    Companies like Telstra are now aware of this and have instituted a 3Rs policy for social media – Representation, Responsibility and Respect. This applies to all Telstra employees when engaging in social media.

    If you have not already done so, I suggest you inform your oversight (or covering) of your participation in this forum (and any others with a similar focus). I presume your oversight will have a policy of how participants should conduct themselves in these types of forums, to reduce risk (both reputational and legal)

  152. Wazza2,
    So you think that s&p, who is a member at C3, should declare himself to the leadership there, since he is mostly opposed to their oversight and doctrine, and heads a blog which publicly promotes his opinion?

  153. I would say that I am faithful to the C3 community of believers Facelift. And this is something you don’t see me doing.

  154. Briefly, the key to Ephesians 1 is twofold. Firstly we are all predestined in Christ for salvation. At the cross we were in him. We died in Him. We were raised in him. Everyone was predestined to be conformed to his image. The term ‘in Christ’, or ‘in Him’ is given several times to emphasise that God was in Christ reconciling the whole world to himself, and this was predetermined before the foundation of the world.

    But the way to receive salvation is through faith in Him. The way is made clear, and our trespasses not accredited to us any longer. We are all forgiven. We are all redeemed. Our part is to receive the free pardon. It is a free gift. It is not bought, earned or made available by works or human righteousness.

    Christ died once and for all, that is all people. There is no exception. God is not a preferrer of persons. His grace is to all for all. We receive his grace through faith in him. All who call on his name will be saved.

    Romans 3:21-24
    But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…

    ‘To all and on all who believe’. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE! Just as all have sinned, so all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The ‘elect’ were not sin free. Israel was not sin free. The Gentiles were not sin free. All sinned. All were guilty. All required salvation. All required grace.

    No difference for any human, Jew or Gentile, which links with the another key part of what Ephesians 1 and 2 are saying.

    Secondly, Ephesians 1 is about the reconciliation of all things in Christ, but talks about two peoples, the Jews and the Gentiles. Ephesians 2 goes on to say the middle wall of partition is broken down between the two in Christ.

    Ephesians 1 talks about inheritance. The Jewish inheritance, the Promised Land, and the inheritance of all in Christ, eternal life, having received ‘all spiritual blessings in heavenly places’. That the heavenly hope precedes Israel’s earthly inheritance, meaning the Gentiles are also given access through faith to the Spirit, and to Life in Christ Jesus. And this was preordained before the foundation of the world in Christ, in the Lamb who would be slain before the foundation of the world, to bring us all in to redemption in him, to make the way clear for us all to enter into him, neither Jew nor Greek, nor bond nor free, but all one in him. In God’s economy of the fulness of ages, as he gathers all into Christ, of things in heaven and things in the earth, in him.

    Ephesians is a continuous letter, not broken down into chapters and verses and should be understood as such.

    A good commentary on this passage is Adam Clarke’s, which gives the understanding of the bringing together of all things in Christ.

  155. So, s&p, your point of view expressed here is your point of view and should be respected as such. The way you conduct yourself amongst your C3 community is in love and with respect, I take it, therefore you have no reason to put a disclaimer here, or declare yourself to your leadership, unless you were deliberately misrepresenting the C3 community in a negative or destructive manner. I would agree. Perhaps wazza2 would not.

  156. Well a leader who is employed by the movement is quite a different thing from a voluntary member of a church. So before we get distracted, I take it FL that you have discussed your involvement in this forum with your oversight? And they have approved it?

  157. @teddy – yes I do agree that our free will is limited by sin nature (and a lot of other things). I respect the reformed position as being theologically and philisophically rigorous, and I’m in no position to argue with it.

    I think some sort of middle ground is possible but difficult to define.

    If we go to extremes with Arminianism we get a sort of personal God in a box that can be pulled out at will and made to do tricks (healings perhaps?)

    Extreme Calvinists only preach to people to tell them where they are going, because they know that nothing can be done about it.

    This is not to mock either position, but just to say that extremism is not the way to go.

  158. I would have agreed, just last week, in fact, with wazza2 on the extremism idea, and that there is not much between the positions, until I read McClarty above, who shocked me, and who clearly states that Jesus only died for a remnant, and not for the whole world, not for all, but for some. This is also teddy’s position, as she declared.

    Now, it occurs to me that if we are going to look at whether a position is extreme or not, we will be distracted, because there can only be one position, and that is God’s will, not ours.

    Clearly Peter tells us that is is not God’s will that any perish, but that all come to repentance. That is so clear no one could miss it. her is long-suffering towards us all, so that more will come into his grace.

    Five times the Bible tells us that God is no respecter of persons. This clarifies everything, because, then, there cannot be an elect few who are reserved before time to be saved, and another elect who are reserved before time for God’s wrath, all at his whim, pre-planned and pre-packaged, signed, sealed and delivered (or not!). And this all arranged before the foundation of the world! Does this make God just, gracious, merciful or even reasonable?

    It is God’s will which is the important factor here, and he has sent his sovereign word into the world, and the word is ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” ‘Repent, and be baptised for the remission of your sins!” That is the will and word of God. “All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. That is the word of God, spoken, ratified and confirmed in scripture, and in deed.

    And this word is for all. Not a select few, we don’t know who.

    There cannot be two wills we can go by. There is truth. One truth. God is the Spirit of Truth.

    From a personal perspective, as a preacher of the gospel, what if teddy is right, and I am wrong? I am in serious error, because I tell people that Jesus died for the sin of the entire world, past, present and future.

    If McClarty is correct, I have been, unwittingly, perhaps, lying to people, misleading them. I have been saying that if any of them calls on the name of the Lord they will be saved. I have been saying that if they will repent of their sins, God will give them the free gift of eternal life.

    If I am wrong, then many people are deceived. Some, we don’t know who, will be saved, but others, we don’t know who, will merely have asked Jesus into their lives, but will, in fact be reserved for wrath, and be cast into the Lake of Fire with Satan and his fallen angels.

    This not something we can dismiss and say it doesn’t matter. If Christ’s sacrifice was a limited sacrifice, then we have a limited gospel, and a limited word of reconciliation.
    ••••••••••••••••••••••

    wazza2, are you being serious about this disclaimer thing, or just probing for more information, like some busybody?

  159. FL, they are not deceived, you can’t save anyone. But if you are faithfully preaching the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and His saving grace, what else you do is, as has already been said by Bull, between you and God. You will always have the regenerate and unregenerate in your congtregation. If God doesn’t grant them faith to believe, you’re still home free, just for your faithfulness.

  160. FL, many calvinist and arminian ministers are great friends, some even doing conferences together. If you want come down hard on JIm McClarty, John Macarthur etc, then you are going to have to come down hard on, let’s say, Rick Warren! (Not that I agree with his methodology but he had a solid theological foundation that he’s too pragmatic to use) Then we add Wayne Grudem, John Piper,Joshua Harris,Martyn Lloyd-Jones,
    Spurgeon, Edwards,etc etc. Then we have the other side, R C Sproul, Wesley, John Goodwin Faithlift 🙂 etc etc.

    Declare your side right and my side wrong, but God is still sovereign.

  161. Boy are we off topic, but here’s a little more of Jim McClarty on sovereignity and evangelism…….

    “I once heard a strict Calvinist say that in all of Paul’s epistles he never once gives any instruction on evangelizing the lost. And that’s true. But, it’s not the whole story. Paul wrote to churches, teaching and admonishing them with sound doctrine and instruction on Christian living. And while it is true that he never presented a formula for converting to the lost, it is unquestionable that he did preach to anyone and everyone.

    But, it is equally obvious that Paul trusted God to convert people. If they heard his gospel, they were obviously God’s elect. If they rejected it, Paul didn’t appear to spend time backtracking to try and convince or persuade them. The preaching of the gospel was the line of demarcation that made every man’s state obvious.

    We only know the gospel because someone preached it to us. Whether we learned it from a contemporary or from the pen of the Apostles, we still learned it because someone preached it. And the example we find in Scripture is a commitment to preaching the gospel of grace to everyone who will listen – to those who have “ears to hear.”

    I have often said that it would be much easier on us if God would have made His elect more obvious. Maybe He could have made their hair stand up on one side, or given them a neon “elect” sign or something. But, since we do not know who God has chosen from the formation of the world, we are told to preach “to every living creature.” Those who are chosen will respond. Those who are not will reject it. But, we are called to preach it.

    So, is it honest to preach to the unsaved? Yes, absolutely. It is the only hope they have. What if they will not hear it? That’s between them and God. But, the fact that some will not hear and believe the gospel does not excuse us from the responsibility to tell it. God has chosen to use “means” in the advancement of His kingdom. And the “means” He has chosen is the preached Word. That is method by which the elect are called out. So, we who know the gospel are assigned the task of promoting that gospel to everyone with the sure and certain knowledge that the elect of God will hear it and will respond.”

  162. And doesn’t that just make you want to throw your hands in the air in frustration! But I love a God like that, One who is in control (because I’m not!)

  163. I appreciate the fact that you’re hanging in there, teddy, and not being too aghast with my brand of tenacity. Bill asked earlier for a little more of the personal side of me, and some opening up. He called it being more honest. I don’t know how much more open and honest we could be.

    I am deadly earnest about this, as I know you are.

    I did not know that there was actually such a divide in the doctrines we are discussing. Someone has said there is not much in it, but, in fact, there is. Even your understanding of how people are saved is completely removed from mine. I’m not saying you are totally wrong, or that I am right, by the way. I have yet to see anything in Reformed Theology, however, which will change my mind on what I have been taught, and understand.

    I am identifying the difference, and it is far greater than I realised, not just from what you have presented personally, but more especially from the writing of those you have quoted. I am not attempting to run down McClarty or anyone. Just looking at the doctrine. I am amazed at the way he has made it clear to me what a huge gap there is in our understanding of the work of the cross, and God’s means of redemption.

    The statement McClarty made which clearly indicates a limited atonement shook me. I understand the logic, but I also see more to the logic of the cross being a work for all, mainly because we have to take all of scripture into account, and not isolated passages.

    I will continue to look into this now that I’ve started into it. Having begun expository teaching on Galatians, I am in Chapter 1:6-21, having already discussed some aspects of varying doctrines, some cultish, and some orthodox. This will be an interesting excursion and possible inclusion.
    •••••••••••••••••••

    Here is a take on the other side of the argument from someone else for a change:

    The Danger of Teaching that Christ Died Only for the Elect

    The following is excerpted from “The Dangers of Reformed Theology,” George Zeller, Middletown Bible Church, 349 East St., Middletown, CT 06457. This study and a companion one entitled “For Whom Did Christ Die?” are available from Pastor Zeller for $2.75 each postpaid.

    ‘The teaching that Christ died only for the elect is commonly known as a belief in a “limited atonement” (some reformed men like to refer to it has “definite atonement”). It is the teaching that Christ died on the cross and paid the penalty only for the sins of the elect, i.e., the saved. Thus, they believe that Jesus did not die for those who eventually will be cast into the Lake of Fire. The doctrine is worded as follows: “Christ died for all men WITHOUT DISTINCTION but He did not die for all men WITHOUT EXCEPTION.” This is a subtle game of semantics which makes it possible for them to say that He died for all without really meaning that he died for all. What they really mean is that Christ died for all kinds of people and all classes of people, but He did not die for every single person. That is, He died for Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, slave and free, male and female, etc., but it is understood that He died for only elect Jews and Gentiles, only elect rich and poor, etc.

    Dr. Paul Reiter has clearly and simply summarized the Scriptural teaching on this issue. FOR WHOM DID CHRIST DIE? HE DIED…

    For all (1st Timothy 2:6; Isaiah 53:6).
    For every man (Heb. 2:9).
    For the world (John 3:16).
    For the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
    For the ungodly (Rom. 5:6).
    For false teachers (2 Peter 2:1).
    For many (Matthew 20:28).
    For Israel (John 11:50-51).
    For the Church (Eph. 5:25).
    For “me” (Gal. 2:20).

    One believer who was not committed to the belief that Christ died for all men made this remarkable concession: “If Christ really did die for all men, then I don’t know how the Bible could say it any clearer than it does.” How true! It is evident that the extreme Calvinist must ignore the clear language and obvious sense of many passages, and he must force the Scriptures and make them fit into his own theological mold. Limited atonement may seem logical and reasonable, but the real test is this: IS IT BIBLICAL? … “What saith the Scriptures?” (Romans 4:3).

    In child-like faith we must simply allow the Bible to say what it says. Those who promote this erroneous doctrine try to tell us that “world” does not really mean “world”‘ and “all” does not really mean “all” and “every man” does not really mean “every man” and “the whole world” does not really mean “the whole world.” We are told that simple verses such as John 3:16 and Isaiah 53:6 must be understood, not as a child would understand them, but as a theologian would understand them. That is, we must re-interpret such verses in light of our system of theology.

    The true doctrine of the atonement could be stated as follows: The Scriptures teach that the sacrifice of the Lamb of God involved the sin of the world (John 1:29), and that the Saviour’s work of redemption (1st Timothy 2:6; 2nd Peter 2:1), and reconciliation (2nd Corinthians 5:19) and propitiation (1st John 2:2), that was for all men (1st Timothy 4:10); but the cross-work of Christ is efficient, effectual, and applicable only for those who believe (1st Timothy 4:10; John 3:16).

    We could even say it in a simpler way: “Christ’s death was SUFFICIENT FOR ALL, but EFFICIENT only for those who believe.” The cross-work of Christ is not limited, but the application of that cross-work through the work of the Holy Spirit is limited to believers only. The extreme Calvinist would say that the cross was designed only for the elect and had no purpose for the “non-elect” (persistent unbelievers). But the death of God’s Son had a divine purpose and design for both groups. For the elect, God’s design was salvation according to His purpose and grace in Christ Jesus before the world began (2nd Timothy 1:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

    For unbelievers, God’s purpose and design is to render the unbeliever without excuse. Men are CONDEMNED because they have rejected the Person and WORK of Jesus Christ and refused God’s only remedy for sin (John 3:18; 5:40). Unbelievers can never say that a provision for their salvation was not made and not offered. They can never stand before God and say, “The reason I am not saved is because Christ did not die for me.” No, the reason they are not saved is because they rejected the One who died for them and who is the Saviour of all men (1st Timothy 4:10). They are without excuse. This issue is not merely academic. It is extremely practical. It affects the very heart of the gospel and its presentation. The gospel which Paul preached to the unsaved people of Corinth was this: “Christ died for our sins” (1st Corinthians 15:3). Do we really have a gospel of good news for all men (compare Luke 2:10-11)? In preaching the gospel, what can we say to an unsaved person? Can we say, “My friend, the Lord Jesus Christ died for you. He paid the penalty for your sins. He died as your Substitute”?

    One reformed writer said this: “But counselors, as Christians, are obligated to present the claims of Christ. They must present the good news that Christ Jesus died on the cross in the place of His own, that He bore the guilt and suffered the penalty for their sins. He died that all whom the Father had given to Him might come unto Him and have life everlasting. As a reformed Christian, the writer believes that counselors must not tell any unsaved counselee that Christ died for him, FOR THEY CANNOT SAY THAT. No man knows except Christ Himself who are His elect for whom He died” [emphasis mine] (Jay Adams, Competent to Counsel, p. 70).

    As C.H. Mackintosh has said, “A disciple of the high school of doctrine [extreme Calvinist] will not hear of a world-wide gospel–of God’s love to the world–of glad tidings to every creature under heaven. He has only gotten a gospel for the elect.” If the reformed preacher were really honest about it, he would need to preach his doctrine along these lines: “Christ may have died for your sins. If you are one of God’s elect, then He died for you, but if not, then you have no Saviour. I cannot tell you that Christ died on the cross for you because I don’t know this for sure. If you believe the gospel then this proves that you are one of God’s elect, and then it is proper to speak of Christ dying for you.” What an insult to the God “who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1st Timothy 2:4). The Apostle Paul was not so handicapped when he preached the gospel to the unsaved Corinthians. He clearly proclaimed that “Christ died for our sins [yours and mine!].”

    If Paul could preach that message, so should we and so must we!

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Doctrines/Calvinism/limited_atonement.htm

  164. FL, I would love to hear that you contacted Jim, if for now other reason than to enter into an interesting
    dialogue – jim@salvationbygrace.org.

    He, unlike larger ministries (because of their size?), is very approachable and loves to share his perspective and answer questions. I would also like hearing (from you, even privately) his take on your very important (to you and others) perspectives. Take his views on cessationism which he once held strongly – he’s more interested in being consistent with scripture than with Calvin. Another comment he makes…..

    “A couple of years ago, Jeff Young challenged me to re-think my view. He gave me a book by D. A. Carson — a Reformed guy who Jeff knew I respected — about his own investigation into the critical texts concerning the ceasing of spiritual gifts. To make a long story short, I came to realize that the Bible never actually says that the spiritual gifts would cease altogether within the church. Certainly, Paul had to deal with the abuse of those gifts and he argued for their eventual replacement. But, nothing in the text says that they will end while the Church is still present on Earth. So, I had to begin rearranging my thinking (“Always Reforming!”).

    By the way, I am not certain that Paul’s reference to “that which is perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:10 is a reference to Christ. After all, it was the coming of Christ — both bodily and then spiritually — that produced the gifts of the spirit. And Paul wrote after the resurrection, still speaking of the coming perfection as future –
    “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (1 Cor. 13:9-10)

    I think, more than likely, Paul was saying that there would be an eschatological end to the gifts. In other words, when Christ returns and sets up His kingdom, wherein dwells righteousness and all the nations flow to Him, then there will be no further need for individual gifts of the Spirit. We will all be, finally and wholly, one in Christ. That’s the perfection toward which all of Christianity is heading.

    So, while I haven’t seen any evidence of really miraculous moves of the Spirit, I cannot discount the reality that God can indeed do whatever He wants whenever He wants to do it. I have never seen a church operate according to the rules that Paul lays out for proper use and orderly exercise of the gifts, but that does not mean that we need to throw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater. I am open to whatever move of God He chooses to exercise.
    And, speaking quite personally and candidly, I am keenly aware of the spiritual element of preaching; especially the method of preaching to which I ascribe. If the Spirit of God is not present and active when I’m standing at the podium, all anybody comes away with is a big dose of Jim. And, that doesn’t do anybody any good. Only if the Holy Spirit, who inspired the words of Holy Writ, energizes those words when I speak them and opens the hearts of people to hear them can anything truly God-honoring be accomplished.

    So, while I have never raised the dead, spoken in an unknown tongue, or been witness to a miraculous healing, the Bible does declare that the Spirit has indeed done all of those things. And, who am I to tell Him that He can no longer do it? I just want to be sure that what is done is genuinely the Spirit moving and not merely another exercise in spiritual one-up-man-ship.”

    So it’s this honesty and openness that has made Jim McClarty my favourite biblical teacher with, at this moment at least 80 sermons downloaded on my Ipod – having already listened to least 100 hours!

  165. I suggest to RP or s&p that the key points of McClarty vs Zeller (author of the piece in my previous comment), be the basis of a separate post on whether Christ died for an elect, or for the whole world. That way this thread can return to the issues in the post. Or maybe it has exhausted itself anyway.

    It is my view that this is the major issue dividing the Body of Christ at this time, underpinning many other disagreements which need to be resolved.

  166. Jim’s Sunday sermons at the moment are on the book of John and his mid-week on Deuteronomy. He made the book of Numbers one of the most interesting I’ve ever listened to – one of his gifts being able to connect both NT and OT as he works through the bible verse by verse.

  167. You’re right FL, in fact listening to Jim this morning, he made the comment that it’s only the lack of unity on doctrine that divides the church today. Providential comment, don’t you think? 🙂

  168. And wouldn’t it be wonderful to think that Signposts02 could solve the answer to this centuries old problem!! All tied up in Zeller vs McClarty!

  169. I think the Spirit is at work on all of us to find the unity he has already given us in Christ.

    I have seen the power of working out differences and focusing on strengths despite diversity in our local minister’s association.

    It doesn’t sound like it, but discussing disagreement is one of the keys to finding agreement. I don’t believe in hiding issues away. That is a false peace. In being open about them, at least we know where we stand, and what we have to do to sort things out.

    We clearly have a long and difficult journey ahead of us, but if we don’t take it we will, should the Lord tarry, leave to to the next generation, who will then be unnecessarily disadvantaged. This is our time!

  170. Well, this is certainly stirring up the body. This was posted today on one of the blogs I visit “Voice of the Sheep – bleatings of an amateur reformational credo batistic theologian”

  171. In a roundabout way this all relates to he Kubalas, because if Reformed Cessationist Theology is correct, their ministry is redundant and futile, rather than relevant and fertile. I think that’s how it started out on this track.

    I don’t think the Finger of God will be removed from the earth with healing and miracles, deliverance and power until Jesus comes for the Church, then the Lord’s Hand will be revealed and his wrath poured out. This whole thing will have to end sooner or later, so we can get into the Millennium, the Judgement, and then into Eternity.

    Maranatha!

  172. Why do you keep linking Reformed and cessationist? It’s not the position of a lot of reformed thinkers, as has been already stated.

  173. I defined a specific group of Reformed Theologians. That leaves others out, I think!

  174. Yes, teddy, that’s a particularly horrible example of what I was saying earlier, that the Calvinist perspective tends to legalism. John Hendryx does not disappoint. He just wants people to respond so he can put on his knock-’em-down lawyers hat and show how incredible his logic is. Really contentious, but not convincing.

    Secondly, in setting the agenda for the questions, which have to be answered on his terms, he ensures that his position is difficult to knock down, even if the response was scripturally and logically correct. It’s rather like playing chess, only the person who owns the chess set has already set up the King to Rook defence before anyone starts the game. I wouldn’t even bother with him. It will only go one way. This is not an apologetic for the Word, but for a position. Any reasonable non-calvinist would look at what he says and dismiss him immediately as a rigid, immovable Pharisee.
    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    There are many passages which discuss the faith of a person coming into contact with God’s grace. like, for instance, the woman with the issue of blood, who was healed, where Jesus said to her, ‘Woman YOUR faith has made you whole!” or Jesus rebuking his disciples, “Where is YOUR faith?” It was Abraham’s faith which caused God to accredit righteousness to him. How did he receive faith? He heard the promises of God and believed.

    Faith does come from God – from His Word. ‘So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God’. ‘Who has believed our report?’ The Word is spoken and faith rises within. The gospel (Word of faith) is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe.

    What does Peter say about whose faith it is which connects with the grace of god?

    1 Peter 1:6-9
    In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of YOUR FAITH, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen YOU LOVE. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of YOUR FAITH–the salvation of your souls.

    So whose faith is tested by the? God’s faith, or ours? Why would God’s faith have to go through the crucible? It is surely strong, and pure, and immovable. And why would God test his own faith?

    Then there is the woman who worshipped Jesus with her tears, as she anointed him with perfume. What does Jesus say about whose faith saved her?

    Luke 7:44-50
    Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

    Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Then He said to the woman, “YOUR FAITH has saved you. Go in peace.”

    Whose faith does Paul speak of as he preaches the Word, with a demonstration of the power of the Spirit?

    1 Corinthians 2:4-5
    And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that YOUR FAITH should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

    1 Peter 1:21
    ‘…add to YOUR FAITH virtue, etc’

    There are far more scriptures on this, but this should get you started. Try Ephesians 1:15. Col.1:4, Rom.1:8, etc..

  175. FL you described him as a rigid immovable pharisee. I would be interested to know if your position has moved at all over the last 2 years as a result of dialogue on this forum?

  176. “I often post full debates on these topics at monergism with both sides’ answers full showing.”

    Fair, honest debate – who is being rigid? Certainly not John Hendryx. And hardly pharisaical.

    Calvinists are more willing to debate than rigid Arminians, it seems. 🙂

  177. On some things, yes, wazza2, but what has that to do with Hendryx? Did you read his piece, or the way he handles responses? What did you think of his manner?

    Teddy, He sets up the response, then hits it with a counter. He asks the questions and sets the agenda. That is not open at all. He is not interested in discussion, just proving his point. That’s clear. I say this because of his tone. But his doctrine is flawed. I’m very happy to discuss things, but in an environment where everyone has an opportunity to have the next word, not just the last word.

  178. FL, did you read the responses to the questionS? Fairly responded to and, by the way, he put the questions out on his own site. Any arminian responding knows the “opponent” had an opposite view -so therefore a fair “fight”.

    Start your own site , ask the questions from your perspective, and see who gets called a rigid pharisee.

    His doctrine is not flawed, he presents sound biblical arguments that fly in the face of your presupportitions.

    You’re only happy to discuss things if everyone agrees with you initially by the way.

  179. Hey, I’m not the the only one to use the “presuppositional” argument!

    From an Internet Monk interview with John Hendryx…

    “What is your philosophy in debating non-Calvinistic Christians? What is the purpose, and what is your method?

    It’s become increasingly clear to me that people do not necessarily respond positively to airtight arguments. Again, the problem, even among Christians, is often moral/ethical and not only intellectual. We hold on to our various positions due to pride and faulty presuppositions and need to let go of some of our erroneous traditions. Therefore I’m convinced that about 90% of persuading a person is subjective and must be accomplished presuppositionally using the Scripture.

    1 Peter 3:15 makes it clear that while Christ and the Scripture are our greatest presupposition, our positions should be discussed with the utmost gentleness and respect both toward unbelievers and brothers who may differ over secondary issues. And admittedly I do not always live up to this standard. But at least I have it as an ideal.

    My greater purpose in these debates online is not always so much to turn the person I am debating with -for usually they have their heels pretty well dug in- but rather for the interest of the many visitors who are still exploring and open, or even for those living in doctrinal confusion and are really unsure what to believe. Those who are open and willing to learn new things have the best chance of eventually finding sound doctrine.”

    I feel a song coming on…. “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof. 🙂

  180. Well, I’ll withdraw my remark about pharisaical approach to debate, but I don’t think an independent observer would agree that his discussion is either free or fair. I agree with you that anyone running such a site is in the driving seat, and therefore open to charges of controlling agendas, but reading his counter-comments it is clear one-upmanship is inherent in his approach. We all suffer from that, and I am no exception. It is something we have to attempt to resist, since the issue isn’t how right we are, but whether we are correctly dividing the word of truth.
    ••••••••••••••••••••••

    For me the argument about whether we have a free will, or that the sin nature is so great that our will is birthed in sin, comes down to the creation. Was Adam created with a sin nature, or was his nature corrupted through sin? Did God make him with a free will, or did God put it in Adam to sin at the time he did?

    If Adam was made with a sin nature, then God has caused all of the problems we have in the world, since, what could man do when he was created and birthed with a nature which could only be a servant to sin?

    Adam must be considered the prototype of humanity, including the desires and the will, the senses and the emotions, aspects of the flesh which are key factors in righteousness and sin, faith and doubt.

    Therefore if he was born with a God-controlled will, how could any aspect of human decision making be considered to be separate from God? Surely everything the human will determined was predetermined by God, making God’s will inherently sinful, since it would have to be his will that our will be corrupted through sin. How could man decide to sin if his will was controlled by God? How could he decide, on his own, to believe, and enter into faith?

    Whatever you have for faith, if it is controlled by God, you have to have for doubt. Righteousness is the fruit of faith. Whatever you have for righteousness, if it is controlled by God, you have to have for sin. If man has no say in the matter, then it is God’s fault that we sin.

    So then, what part in sin did Lucifer have? If, in the serpent, he was only peripheral to the sin of the fall, what was the point of his involvement? If God had already determined the sin nature of man, then surely it was only a matter of time before Adam would fall. God then, becomes the tempter. The serpent empowered by God, not Lucifer, or, at least, Lucifer controlled by God to control the serpent, who tempts Adam, who is controlled by God to sin!

    Yet James 1:13 tells us that God tempts no man to evil. “Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”: for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone himself’.

    So, then, Man is not tempted by God. Temptation comes from other sources. The adversary, or the flesh. Man’s will is subject to desires which can potentially overwhelm him and lead him into sin. And God is not the tempter, and therefore no controlling man’s desires.

    So Adam, I believe, was made with a free will, God breathing into him, as he became a living soul, created in the image of God, so with a pure will. Eve was made form him, and therefore with the same innocence and purity of conscience and desires. Lucifer fell, being field with pride, and entered the scene with the determination to bring about Adam’s fall, working through the woman, whom he deceived into disobeying God’s one Law of the garden. He used her free will will against her through persuasion, based on her curiosity and developing desire to experience the fruit. Adam, knowing the consequences of his actions, followed her lead and made them both complicit in the sin of the Garden. It was precisely because Adam and Eve had free wills that the serpent was able to tempt them and assist their fall.

    Otherwise, if, as monergism claims, God controlled their will, he had to be complicit, aiding and abetting men to sin, which would give mankind a reason to claim that the charges laid against us were fraudulent, since God caused our will to be sinful.

  181. I quite enjoyed reading that post FL.

    However, in light of what you had to say, how do you reconcile the many scriptures which give specific examples of God’s intimate involvement in human “will”?

    The example of Pharaoh comes to mind first and foremost but there are many more than that.

  182. In response to this question, I’ll graciously hand it over to Jim as he has a much better ability to explain…

    “We were not born after Adam’s initial innocence. We were born into Adam’s sin. Paul argued that the proof that all men are guilty of Adam’s sin is the fact that all men die. The wages of sin is death. So, the fact that Adam had an ability to choose proves nothing at all concerning the supposed free will of men after the fall and the expulsion from Eden.
    Granted, Adam had the “free-est” will of any man who ever lived (save Jesus). But, what did that freedom accomplish? Did it make him more Godly? More obedient? More righteous? Nope. It caused him to rebel.
    Now, by the way, I would argue that Adam’s fall was perfectly in line with God’s eternal plan. Inasmuch as Christ is called “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8), it is obvious that God ordained the necessity of a Savior. Had God wanted man to persist in his innocence, all He had to do was keep from placing the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden. I mean, remove the temptation and there’s no possibility of rebellion. Likewise, had God simply kept Satan, the tempter, away from Eve (which I certainly assume He was capable of doing), there would have been no fall. In other words, God set the stage and fully anticipated the acts of Adam and Eve and the resultant introduction of sin into the world.
    So, in the largest picture, Adam did not truly have the free ability to choose. What He did was predetermined by God, who works all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11). Sin was a necessity in order for God to demonstrate His grace. And God fashioned a scenario through which sin entered, while He was not the direct cause. He used secondary causes —- Satan, the Tree, Eve’s pride and influence over Adam, etc. — to do the very thing He had determined to be done, all of which will result in His own glory and the preeminence of His Son in all things.”

  183. First off, I think RP or s&p should make this separate thread to give it context. I’m quite happy to discuss this issue, bearing in mind that I don’t have a conclusive position, but currently lean away from a strict reformist interpretation.

    As wazza says, there are some aspects of scripture which could tend towards a Calvinist perspective, and God certainly does intervene on many occasions, as is his right as the Almighty Creator/Sustainer God. The reason this is such a continual and emotive argument is the seeming ambiguously of some scripture. I think it’s clear, but, then, so do those with an opposing view. Obviously there are things to learn and discuss on both sides.

    However, I cannot consider, at this time, a completely God-controlled human will, God-infused faith (although he must have some involvement, but through the preached Word or gospel, rather than control), or the idea that Christ did not die for the whole sinless world, or, as reformists claim, that it was a limited atonement. I also refute cessationist doctrine, that, is the idea that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit have ceased already.

    These issues could form the basis for a couple of posts, and I’m sure teddy or Bill have other related topics.

  184. “First off, I think RP or s&p should make this separate thread to give it context. “…FL

    Yes, a good idea.

    However, the sheer challenge of reading all the stuff already here, means that I do not have the time to read it and then give it an appropriate intro. I have just skimmed roughly over the thread.

    So if anyone would like to send me a short, non-biased, introductory paragraph to head the post, I will publish it. It needs to not favour either point of view discussed here, and be easy to read.

    Send it to ravingpente@gmail.com

    ***********

    I also noticed this:

    “…but I don’t think an independent observer would agree that his discussion is either free or fair. I agree with you that anyone running such a site is in the driving seat, and therefore open to charges of controlling agendas, but reading his counter-comments it is clear one-upmanship is inherent in his approach.”

    Well, I am running this particular thread, and so far as debate pertains to this discussion here, you will already have noted that I haven’t even had time to read it, let alone give an opinion! S&P has not edited a thing to my knowledge and has behaved like anyone else here, just giving his opinion.

    So for this discussion here, there is no controlling agenda.

    ********

    The site as a whole will reflect the biases and beliefs of those who author here. Anyone author who wants to influence things, just has to step up the volume of material they publish that reflects their view. But it is very rare to find a site like this that doesn’t censor the views of those commenting, except where we realise its spam. This would in that way have to be one of the least controlled sites in the Christian spectrum. None of the churches we discuss here have such an uncontrolled exchange of views!

  185. Teddy in light of what you have posted re God’s will and sovereignty, I am surprised you do not support a universalist position.

    Do you take the then believe that God has created “vessels of dishonor” (2 Timothy 2:20) for the express purpose of destroying them eternally?
    Curious…

  186. @ Bill – Do you believe that the Bible clearly reveals two classes of people? The saved and unsaved? Tares and wheat? Sheep and goats?

    All people will one day acknowledge Jesus as Lord but not all will have acknoweldged Him as Saviour.

    Phil 2:10-11 “…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

  187. Jim,
    ‘We were not born after Adam’s initial innocence. We were born into Adam’s sin. Paul argued that the proof that all men are guilty of Adam’s sin is the fact that all men die. The wages of sin is death. So, the fact that Adam had an ability to choose proves nothing at all concerning the supposed free will of men after the fall and the expulsion from Eden.’

    Neither does it disprove the free-will of men after the fall. This is not a good argument. It is based on presupposition. It assumes a change of the outworking of the will after Adam. It was the nature which changed, not the means of activating the will. The sin nature entered through Adam, but it still required the decision to sin to be activated.

    Jim admits that Adam had a free will, but claims, without a scriptural basis, that sin negated the free will in succeeding generations, which it could not and did not. God made us, in his image, to have a free will, just as he has a free will. We were born innocent, just as Adam was created innocent, and subsequently sinned. This does not require a change of wills.

    Paul tells us that had he not known the Law he could not have sinned. Ro 7:9 – ‘I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died’. God gave Adam the Law of the Garden after he was created, not before. Death was the condition of disobeying the Law. It was the Law which killed him, not his original nature. 1Co 15:56 – ‘The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law’. 2 Cor.3:6b – ‘the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.’ The Law always gives us choice, to obey, or disobey. It is our will which makes the choice, just as much as it was Adam’s will.

    Jim,
    ‘Granted, Adam had the “free-est” will of any man who ever lived (save Jesus). But, what did that freedom accomplish? Did it make him more Godly? More obedient? More righteous? Nope. It caused him to rebel.’

    He didn’t just have the ‘free-est’ will of all men. He Had a free will, full stop. And we, who are after Adam, are also born with a free will, albeit with with a sin nature, the result of his fall. We have the same free will, so no one is born with a ‘free-er’ will than anyone else. We all enter the world the same way, with the same innocence, and with the same temptations and proneness to sin. There is not a shred of scripture on which to base the concept of a ‘free-er’ will. God is not a respecter of persons.

    It is not relevant to ask what Adam’s freedom accomplished, and nothing to do with whether others subsequently were born with a free will. The negative results of a free will do not negate the free will. If anything it demonstrates that, indeed, we all enter with the same free will, but we all fall in the same way through sin, despite our free will.

    If he were correct, the only conclusion you can reach from this is that God gave us all a sin nature and a disobedient will, which, as I have already said, makes him complicit in our fall. But God must be innocent from all sin. He is pure and just. He is holy and righteous. There is no connection between our propensity to sin and the Character and Nature of God. It was not his will at any time for us to sin, or to have a sin nature.

    Adam’s free will did not cause him to rebel. His disobedience to God’s command did. he had a choice between obedience and disobedience. His will was subject to both conditions. His will could have been to obey, just as much as to disobey. That is what separates innocence from rebellion, the righteous from the sinful.

    If he had not a free will, whose will would have been controlling his will?

  188. Go back to compatibilism Fl, this is definitely the postion I hold to. Whether you would agree or not, I see this position giving all glory to God in Christ.

    “Free will is the ability to make choices. There are debates as to what extent this free will is to be understood as it relates to people. There are two main views: campatibilism and libertarianism.

    The compatibilist view is the position that a person’s freedom is restricted by his nature as is described in Scripture. In other words, he can only choose what his nature (sinful or regenerate) will allow him to choose. Therefore, such verses as 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:10-12; Rom. 6:14-20 are used to demonstrate that, for example, the unbeliever is incapable of choosing God of his own free will.

    Libertarian free will says that the person’s will is not restricted by his sinful nature and that he is still able to choose or accept God freely. Verses used to support this view are John 3:16 and 3:36. Two subdivisions of libertarian free will would be “open absolute free will” which says that man’s choices are not knowable by God until they occur, and “non-open absolute free will” which would state that God can know man’s choices but he cannot determine them.

    The biblical position is compatibilism. Since the Bible clearly teaches us that the unbeliever is restricted to making sinful choices (1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:10-12; Rom. 6:14-20) then we must conclude that anyone who believes in God (John 3:16; 3:36) does so because God has granted that he believe (Phil. 1:29), has caused him to be born again (1 Pet. 1:3), and chose him for salvation (2 Thess. 2:13).

    All the cults and false religious systems teach the libertarian view of free will that salvation and spiritual understanding are completely within the grasp of sinners (in spite of their enslavement to and deadness in sin). For them, salvation would be totally up to the ability of the individual to make such a choice.” Matt Slick at CARM

  189. @ Teddy.

    Yes, I sure do acknowledge the “2 groups” in scripture. They have many spiritual types and are illustrated in parable form of which you mentioned a few (tares and wheat, sheep and goats) but there are many others – earth and heaven, many and the few, Levites and the sons of Aaron or priesthood, Joseph and his brothers etc.

    However, I never see the “other” group as being anything other than complementary to the first. Indeed, if God’s will is as intertwined and intricate as you detail (which btw, I agree with) then surely, the wheat can only be the wheat at the expense of the tares? How else could wheat be appreciated for what it is?

    As Paul writes under the inspiration of the holy-spirit, “…Even so have these (tares, goats whatever) also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy…”

  190. Again this is a Calvinist trick to set up two combating positions and ask the reader to choose between them when, in most cases, neither position is true to the Word. Where do they come up with these words? Why are there only two choices?

    How would your nature necessarily dictate to your will? Having a sin nature derived form Adam’s sin isn’t a control system for the will. It is the will which is required to control the person’s nature. Our conscience comes into play also.

    It might be in my nature to drive everywhere at 100 km, but the law dictates that I drive at 80 km in an 80 km zone. How do I control my nature to comply with the law? I allow my conscience to dictate the terms according to the law, and apply my will to overpower my nature.

    My nature, however flawed it may be, is still subject to my conscience and will, that’s why allowing my nature to overpower my conscience can cause my conscience to be seared, deadened to the affects of the law on my will. If I allow my nature to overcome my will, I will sin, tat is break the law.

    It has to be said that the laws of life, natural, governmental, or social, come into play in every situation concerning the will and nature.

    Why am I restricted to making sinful choices? Surely it is the control or lack of control of my nature which leads to the decisions I make concerning my will.

    Again, a question not yet answered, if it is not my will which controls my will, whose will is it, and why does that will force my will to sin, when sin is an offence to God?

  191. Ah … but this is a false comparison.

    As a regenerate believer, I would expect to make all the right choices, and reject all the sinful ones.

    But that is not true. I, like Paul, do the things I ought not to do while neglecting those things I know I should have done.

    Similarly, non-regenerate people often do good things. Bill Gates can donate tons of cash for good causes, Bob Geldof can raise millions of pounds for famine relief … the list goes on.

    I believe that God touches every person’s conscience. It is then up to people to choose to stifle their conscience. That is a free-will choice … to reject God in those moments.

    Now, people can choose words to define that proposition, but my basic understanding leads me away from strict calvinism … I choose an open Heaven that we are free to reject rather than one that we can actively get to under our own actions.

    God has reached out to all of us, but many refuse the outstretched hand. Those of us who gratefully accept the invitation grab hold with both hands … clinging onto Him until the day we die, and finally meet Him … face-to-face.

    If God can forgive Nazi war criminals and redeem them, making them fit for Heaven (and He did), then He can and will rescue anyone who calls on His name.

    Since there is such a strong debate on this, I have noticed that there is also a huge focus on getting people “saved”.

    Let us, for the moment, consider that God makes the positive choice. How will the individual know about God?
    Someone will have to tell him.

    On the other hand, if the person makes a positive choice … how will he know he needs to do so?
    Someone will have to tell him.

    The bottom line? We need to tell them.

    Regarding Pharaoh. True … God hardened his heart.

    However, Pharaoh hardened his own heart 7 times before God did. The lesson is ‘don’t harden your heart’!

    Shalom

  192. I think we crossed over, Bull, but essentially agree.

    Plus God gives people who are consistently against his will over to their own delusion. Their rejection of God’s will and law is a conscious choice. Paul covers this expressively and aggressively in Romans 1, from around verse 18.

    Go gave them over to vile passions and a debased mind, almost as if he allowed them to act, live and believe according to their own will, which was deliberately opposed to his. I take it Paul’s reference here is specifically to Sodom and Gomorra before they were obliterated from the face of the earth, but the sin they entered is still evident today, and there are those who reject him as vehemently, and are equally deluded as a result.

    Paul makes it clear we are inexcusable. This points to self-willed decisions made against God’s will.

  193. Exodus 4:21 “The LORD said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.”

    God declaring He would harden Pharoah’s heart before Moses even goes to Egypt. Still compatibilism at work here.

  194. Well said Teddy!

    I applaud your observations in this respect. What about Moses defense of his being a man of slow speech in order to get out of the “gig”? God reveals who actually causes these infirmities –

    “…And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?”

    Amazing stuff! However, not a popular doctrine Teddy.

  195. And if you think the “dumb, deaf, seeing or blind” only applies physically, I would say you are missing the point entirely 🙂

  196. Romans 11:28-32
    Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

    ‘Committed’ – shut up together, or shut out together. Their constant disobedience has caused them to be shut out form his purposes, cut off from the Tree, so that they all can be brought back in by his mercy.

    And he has mercy on all. So when their disobedience is turned to obedience through faith in Jesus Christ, they will be grafted back in.

    This creates an interesting fact, since all have sinned, according to Romans 3, then all we have left to bring us into God’s favour is his mercy. He has no obligation towards the sinful person whatsoever. Death already has a hold on them. Only his mercy can bring us back in, since the wages of sin is death. A righteous man could not be found. We were all the walking dead, serving sin and the god of the air, children of disobedience. Ts is the condition of people we have to consider when looking at this.

    Since all were sinners, God could have mercy on whom he would have mercy, and compassion on whom he would have compassion, or harden their hearts. They placed themselves at his mercy. He used some, even the whole nation of Israel as pivotal machinery in redemption.

    So in Romans 9:16, “It is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy!” So God has the power to shut off heaven to those whom he choses, and to open heaven to those whom he chooses. He can do this because the will of man was content to sin, and all have sinned. Then the only way into his open heaven is through his mercy. had they not sinned, then God would have kept the heavens open to them, because the sinless man is right before him.

    So, Pharaoh was raised up so that God could show his power in him, but he could only activate this power through sin, since it is sin which hardens the heart. What if Pharaoh, like Hezekiah, had repented? Would God have relented? I think the history of scripture says yes. But that is speculation. The truth is that his heart remained hardened, and he was used of God to demonstrate his power.

    Chapter 9 of Romans is a compelling argument for Calvinists, for sure, and probably the strongest reason we have a disagreement, but it has to be read in the light of other chapters, especially 10 and 11, which show us the way back into God’s mercy and grace.

    Like chapter seven, if we read it as a stand-alone chapter, we miss the point of what is being said.

    Everything is bringing us into a wonderful meeting with Christ and the doctrine of faith.

  197. We can all pick out pet verses. That doesn’t prove a thing.

    God can see what will happen and make a promise. He knew that Pharaoh would harden his own heart. Ultimately, God just helped Pharaoh continue in the way he was going.

    Harden not your hearts, or God will subsequently harden them for you. The time for mercy runs out.

    The point I was trying to make, however, is that we can be as rigid in our doctrine as it is possible to be, but unless we share our faith with others, we are doing nothing for extending the Kingdom of God.

    I hear you. I understand your doctrinal stance. I respectfully disagree. I am not going to quote chapter and verse … although I will say read the whole book and not just a portion of the book.

    This is becoming a rather fruitless and pointless “discussion”.

    The great commission is more important.

    Hear me.

    Sola Scriptura is incredibly important.
    There is far too much extra-biblical revelation coming into the mainstream church. Secondary doctrinal disputes have given proper bible-study a bad name.
    Asking if you are pre-, mid- or post-tribulation in your eschatology is a pre-post-erous question.

    The kind of mud-slinging between people of genuine christian belief and practice is the worst example of “doctrinal purity”. I want to get away from all that.

    However, there is a fight to be fought. It is the fight between the cult-like NAR and the church.

    The NAR is bringing in all sorts of extra-biblical revelation that will destroy the faith of many in the Bible. Once that gets undermined, we will see a completely different gospel and a completely different Jesus.

    If they want to form their own religion that’s up to them … just don’t call it Christianity.

    So let’s not fight amongst ourselves. There is a much more important battle in the coming years. FL is in a leadership position in a denomination that will come under the most subtle attack from the NAR and we need to pray that the Lord will reveal truth. (not my understanding of the truth … but the actual truth)

    We need to pray for him.

    For those who don’t realise it yet … the NAR are effectively “Christian” fascists.

    Just remember … Joel’s Army = Neo-Nazi.

    Shalom

  198. Nice topic here with this quote from Exodus.

    My opinion is, that this text falls into the same category than Romans 1 where it is said that God gave men over to a reprobate mind.

    Men were already on the wrong track and God’s judgement was that he let them have what they desired so that a) it should be revealed that this path leads to disaster and b) that they should have no excuse or reason to complain when the consequences turn out ugly.

    They had what they wanted and if the result was bad they could only blame themselves for having erred.

  199. Paul is using this hardening as an example of God’s “inscrutable will and absolute power” to intervene as He chooses, yet obviously never without man’s loss of personal responsiblity for actions taken (there’s that compatibility again).

    “The theological conundrum posed by such interplay of God’s acting and Pharoah’s acting can only be resolved by accepting the record as it stands, and by taking refuge in the omniscience and omnipotence of the God who planned and brought about His deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and in doing so also judged Pharoah’s sinfulness.” JM

    Just for the record, I most definately don’t believe in a God who has to look down the sands of time to know our actions. As far as I’m concerned, and believe the bible to say, He decreed everything before the foundation of the earth.

  200. @ Bull, I posted a video from Albert Mohler about the “Trajectories of an adjusted gospel” – NAR isn’t the only danger. The ever-emerging emergent “gospel” as represented by Brian Mclaren is a serious problem.

    The difference between the two groups is at least you can dialogue with an emergent.

  201. @ Bull, here’s an opportunity – live chat with Cindy Jacobs. Just got an email saying……..

    “Live Call – Tomorrow Night (Tuesday) at 9 p.m. EST

    Join Charisma publisher Steve Strang on May 11, 2010 at 9 p.m. (EST) for this year’s first live conference call with internationally respected prophet Cindy Jacobs.

    Listen in as the co-founder of Generals International tackles questions about the church’s future–including how the rising wave of secularism in the United States affects every believer. Publisher Steve Strang will be interviewing Cindy and asking her your questions during this live event.

    If you’re eager to ask Cindy about what she sees God doing around the world today, here’s your chance! Register early and submit your questions–we’ll then compile all the questions and get as many answered during this call as possible.

    Click here to register and reserve your spot on the call.

    *Important Note: Don’t delay — Register now!

    Only the first 1,000 people will be able to participate.

    God bless,

    Your Charisma team”

    NAR questions welcome, I wonder?

  202. Bull, this is an important issue, and one that is necessary to be resolved one way or another. I like what pheonixpreacher says, when he admits we need to hear one another rather than set up fences, or second guess one another all the time. Steady, studied dialogue breaks down division.

    I will continue to stress that NAR is not the main danger to anything. In fact, some of what they say is relevant, and we should give them the same amount of time and courtesy as Calvinists, Arminians, etc. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater is dumb. Calling people fascists without presenting the reason is pointless.

    And you can’t just press for discussions about NAR, anymore than teddy can always push for Reformed Theology. There are a mass of issues out there which could be addressed.

    For instance the Anglican Synod press release on population, which flies in the face of the Word by pressing for a reduction in population. As you know, Bull, this plays right into the hands of religionists who encourage large families. I say Christians need to have as many babies as possible. God will take care of his own heritage. Why doesn’t the Anglican Synod know this? Beats me!

    So, please, someone set up the thread for a discussion on Free Will vs Controlled Will doctrine, or whatever you want to call it, and then organise other threads, and maybe a NAR hierarchy narky, because those are threads which will be revisited on a regular basis!
    ••••••••••••••••••••

    gandalf,
    I agree with your last comment at 4.14 am. Thanks for putting that so simply and clearly.

  203. FL – send me an intro paragraph as I requested!! Then I will set it up. Tho it might take me a couple of days.

    RP

    Finally – having read the last 1/4 or less of this thread, my position remains that I agree with Faithlift and Bull on this. The Calvinists raise points that we shouldn’t ignore, and there is a tension there. However, I am still convinced we have free will, even though God knows how we will choose. I don’t think the example of Pharoah is a clear cut example that God always, every time, causes us to behave the way we do. To believe that, we have to ignore an awful lot elsewhere in the Bible. Plus, we are made in His image. He has free will; so do we. But we misuse it; hence sin. The father in the prodigal son parable gave both his sons complete free will. Only seeing the results of his free will made the prodigal son realise how good his Father was. Without his exercise of free will, he would never have had that revelation and ultimately returned to his Father, and entered into a far more wonderful personal relationship with Him.

  204. As one of the comments on Phoenix Preacher reiterated……”if pastors and teachers are teaching the Word faithfully, we have nothing to fear from ideas other than our own.”

  205. FL re: the Anglican synod press release on population, I think we should have a discussion on that in a few days. I even started a post on Mothers day, titled “Motherhood, its the same as stealing – Anglicans” . Anyway, for another time.

  206. FL, there is no baby in the NAR …

    The reference to Joel’s Army is a response to finding out what they mean with respect to Joel’s Army.

    For them, apart from the fact that it is a prime example of Eisegesis, it does not even represent an army of prayer warriors or something like that. They expect to be armed … ready to kill those who will not accept the new apostles.

    Go and research it yourself. Todd Bentley has Joel’s army dog-tags tattooed onto his chest for example.

    This may be the extreme end of those floating around the NAR, but instead of casting them into outer darkness, Wagner wants to embrace them … the ultimate pragmatic approach to building a literal, temporal, ‘Christian’ theocracy.

    Wagner is an opportunist … he has been trying desperately to link in with the “emergents” too.

    There is no such thing as doctrinal purity in those circles. There is no such thing as evangelical or charismatic in those circles now. It is all pragmatic, seeker sensitive, contemporary worship, God is Love – All Love – nothing but Love, ecumenically embracing orthodox and roman catholic branches … Rick Warren reaches out to our Muslim brothers and Sisters … Mormons are Christians too (Joel Osteen and Rick Warren can’t tell the difference).

    The list goes on. And it is all centered in the spreading influence of the NAR.

    I know … I sound like a conspiracy nut. But just remember … the real pressure on Western Christians will not come from outside the church. It’ll come from inside.

    People have already experienced this from the “success” of the Willow Creek model. Churches have been broken apart … families have been shattered … communities torn asunder.

    We will see much more of this in the coming years.

    Shalom

  207. I’d so like to read all this, but this is so not my area of interest at the moment.

    I’d be interested to note if anyone changes to another person’s side after this discussion.

  208. Janine Kubala tweeted: “Sensational healings @ t Believe shoot. A guy came in on crutches his leg in a cast, & walked out without his crutches.”

    That’s good.

  209. Bull, we still have the Bible. That is our source of information, nothing else. We still have the Holy Spirit. He will lead us and guide us in all truth. We still have the Lord Jesus Christ. He is building his Church. We still have the Father, who will prune us and nurture us on the Vine.

    I think you’re being distracted by NAR, etc, and led up the garden path, frankly. You really think Wagner and co would condone fringe terrorists shooting up people who won’t acknowledge Wagner?

    Too much coffee, mate!

    Back to the Word!

  210. I have actually fought my way through this thread in its entirety. What a marathon!!

    This won’t be any different unfortunately and may be should be on the thread to come, but anyway…

    First thing to reiterate somethings I have said before on here. I started off in an evangelical church for 10 years, thought through the reformed thing over last three years of that and then went to a reformed church for 17 years.

    I bailed because the weight of failed expectation on us (perceived only or otherwise), the form of legalism that often accompanies reformed churches (applies to other denominations with differing emphases) was crushing me and my family. They were also cessationist which I never ever bought.

    FL – you think you’ve been around, but you haven’t. The Arminian/Calvinist dichotomy has been one of the main games in Christian thought for the last 5 centuries. You pente’s are in effect johnny-come-latelies. Time to wake up because this is one of the (only one, and not the most) fundamental issues that Christians need to deal with.

    As a generalisation Pente’s tend to focus on experientialism – signs and gifts, while reformed guys hang onto the word for grim death. While not being a pente myself I find neither position hits the mark for me.

    I thought the last few posts on this thread actually indicated reaching a point where there was some serious openness on both sides to look at this issue.

    I will also say again that I have been in the middle of a church that split down the guts over this issue. Young reformed guys basically hitting people with the word, and the ‘elders’ not even bothering to look at the word because they couldn’t cope with it. It was very ugly – lots of pain and badly broken relationships. I have also been personally ‘bashed’ by pente’s who said because I don’t speak in tongues I haven’t really arrived. Anyone who holds that view can get knotted as far as I concerned – (politely of course!).

    And I have learnt to be wary of simply rebounding from one form of theological dysfunction to another form.

    In working my through these issues personally I have had these verses as my parameters and rule of thumb over the years (and for every other issue as well):

    Is 55: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

    and

    Heb 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

    What do I take from these? First I will never fully get it (other than may be when I get to glory). I am being arrogant if I think otherwise. God is so much bigger than I can contemplate comprehending, and I can’t even begin to grasp how God works things out and pulls things together. This may seem like an obvious thing, but from Adam’s disobedience and decision not to trust God – not to have faith in that what God told him to do was for the best of all – humans have waged a war to diminish God in very way possible. Therefore to take God at his word on this is a critical lynchpin.

    Secondly, God (Jesus) has not changed throughout all this (we changed, not God), and He is acting/proceeding/working things as He has always done, and as He will always do. His character is totally reliable – unlike me.

    Broadly the position then that I came to and still hold is that the sovereignty of God is supreme in and through all things, but as man is in the image of God we have free will which I increasingly think has remained intact despite sin. What this means for me is that God is sovereign and will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and will harden whom He will harden, but for the most part our free will remains in that is a fundamental component of being made in the image of God, – despite the severe and distorting marring of sin we still are image bearers of God. To say that our free will is of no avail would mean that we are no longer in His image – which is a nonsense.

    Some things to think about as people chew through this which may take a lifetime and quite randomly:

    For me the key to this is looking at why God created us and what being an image bearer means. I think if we haven’t worked that through we won’t get it. This was touched on a bit in the thread, but didn’t really come to grips.

    Yes no-one is good, no not one (Ps 14 and Rom 3), but Christ did die for all (Rom 5:18, 6:10, 1 Cor 15:22, 2 Cor 5:14-15, 1 Pet 3:18, 2 Pet 3:9)

    Which one of us will tell God who He has reserved for Himself and which He can’t? – Parables of the prodigal son and the labourers in the vineyard.

    Miracles – particularly healings – seem to serve two purposes – mercy from God to individuals (why? – because He loves what or who??), and as signs to – as if there was any doubt anyway – render people without excuse – they are not there for show. But the real issue apart from God’s sovereign exercise of mercy is about how people respond to them. As some and scripture points out signs and wonders do not necessarily translate into people turning to God.

    Reference McClarty…I should state a couple of things before tackling him:

    I accept as true and trust the Lord in the following statements:

    Jn 6:44-45: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘and they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” (Interestingly this in response to being asked for a sign by the Pharisees)

    Lk 8:50 (see also Mk 5:36) But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”

    Eph 2:1-9: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

    Jn 8:45-47 “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

    Jn 9:36: “He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”

    Back to McClarty…these quotes I think get to the heart of his and generally the ‘reformed’ position:

    “But, then Jesus broke all of humanity down into two groups: those who believed and those who did not. Those who were in the state of “believing on Him” constitute the “all the believing” group of John 3:16 – they are one and the same people. Jesus knows those that are His. They are the recipients of the grace of God that leads to salvation….But, to the contrary, those people who are in the state of unbelief – “he that believes not” – are “condemned already.” The fact that they are living mortal lives is merely a temporary reprieve from the condemnation that awaits them…..Now, this contrast between the believing and the unbelieving begs the inevitable question, “How can Jesus state so categorically that people who failed to believe on Him were already in a state of condemnation? I mean, couldn’t they at some later point exercise their wills, choose to believe and transfer their eternal state to one of redemption and everlasting life?” The answer is implicit in John 3:16. “All the believing” have everlasting life. The inverse is axiomatically true. All the unbelieving do not. And, that’s why John 3:16 should not be removed from its larger context. John 3:18 spells out the whole paradigm in NO uncertain terms.

    Mostly agree with his break down of what the text says, but not key parts of his conclusions.

    Re the text….if you look through as many examples of the use of ‘all’ – his Greek rendering, and also other words translated as ‘all’ – it is clear they are not used the same way in ‘all’ instances. There might be an argument to support it, but he’s fallen a long way short. My brief look at would suggest in any case that ‘all’ is not in ‘all’ instances conditionally limited or mutually exclusive as he says it is, and the ‘inverse’ in fact sometimes refers to something without a pre-imposed limit or condition. The same word is also used for everyone – “everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved”. The same word for all is used throughout Rom 5 – death came to all men, because all men sinned….just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also…one of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men…through the obedience of one man the many will be made righteous (many meaning great in number or magnitude) – notice from “all” to the “many”. You work it out.

    In terms of the conclusion the statement that we have two mutually exclusive groups within our space/continuum I think is overly simplistic and ultimately unhelpful. As McClarty points out there are actually two contexts here – the temporal one, and the eternal one.

    As the Ephesians passage above and others indicates in the temporal continuum at one points every man woman and child starts out life “condemned”, and then at some point in time many “believe”. So in one sense McLarty’s explanation might be right.

    But in the other sense I think he has made an unsustainable leap in logic – his view is that because there is a group that believes, those that don’t believe can’t change there minds within the time allotted to them. My reading of scripture is you can make that case if you want to, but you have to ignore masses of stuff that say things to the contrary. We then immediately polarise and proceed to metaphorically beat the crap out of each other down the centuries.

    His whole argument hangs on the unstated assumption that humanity has no capacity to believe or to exercise there will to have faith. Anyone who says they have this sorted is simply kidding themselves, and have put themselves in a position where they think they can throw a net over God and how He does things, wrap it up in a nice neat tidy box and walk away. Bit of self delusion there.

    We have statements through the Bible as per Ephesians 1 that we were chosen by Him before the world etc. Alongside that we have the statement in Rev 22 that:
    “And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” So how can they be in the book of life from before creation yet still be taken out? (music to Bull’s ears).

    Elsewhere we are told to count the cost of being a disciple. If our will is of no account why ask this?

    Why does Jesus tell someone to believe if that is purely the Spirit’s job to sort out?

    Why the constant injunctions throughout the whole of Scripture to seek him if our wills are no account and everything has been sorted out before time?

    Deut 4:28-29 There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
    What is the unforgivable sin? The view I have adopted which may be wrong is that it is basically ignoring the witness of the Holy Spirit to us as to who Christ is and how to respond to what He has done for us.
    And how can people grieve the Holy Spirit if our wills are of no account?

    Is 63: 8-10: He said, “Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me”;
    and so he became their Saviour. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.”

    What of the statement in Romans that whether we have heard the Gospel or not creation still testifies to us of God, and all humanity is accountable for that?
    There are a number of other things I could touch on, but this is already too long.

    I don’t think what I’ve said is particularly systematic or logical, raises more questions that answers, and is a bit higgledy piggledy – this may not make sense to anyone else at all. However I genuinely hope I have muddied the waters because it is better that way. When we become sure of how God is connecting the dots other than that He has got us covered, it is time to double check ourselves. Paul rightly said that salvation is a mystery and we should work out our own with fear and trembling.

    How can I believe that no-one comes to Jesus except the Father draws him, has mercy on whom he has mercy and hardens whom he hardens, and yet we all have free will? Because our Heavenly Father is just the type of guy that make those things hang together and perfectly execute a plan. Do I understand how? Absolutely not.

    This is my broad assumption: I am in no way a universalist – there will be an eternal judgement for many which will be very sad, but many will make that we would have thought not, and many not that we thought would have. For those who have not heard the gospel, died in the womb, not been born whole I gratefully concede this is God’s problem and not mine. Our God is good, loving and just and I think the net He casts is much broader we think.

    I come back to why and for what reason did God create us? What does it mean that even now we are image bearers of God? Here is a question: for God to accomplish His purpose in and through us how can we not have free will? (I think this would make an excellent subject for a separate thread). And yet this is the same God who pinned Job’s ears back with “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me!”

    In a way that’s my point. Honestly what is the basis for us understanding how God pulls everything together? We may know or have faith that He does, but the how??

    I am with Isaiah when he writes: Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips…
    Ecc 9 and 12: Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favours what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun……Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

    To finish a couple quotes from Ezekiel 18 and Isaiah 55:

    “The person who sins will die The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die. Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not right ‘ Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die. Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. “Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. “But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.”

    “Come! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat ome, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me, listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David. Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, A leader and commander for the peoples. Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, And a nation which knows you not will run to you, Because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you. Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

  211. For FL – a video by an atheist Derren Brown who makes another atheist “fall under the power”

    In the video he poses as a recent convert who can convert others “with a single touch”

    The power of suggestion and group hysteria! Enjoy

  212. Excellent summary, mn. Thanks.

    Bill,
    Having ministered to hundreds of people, from many cultural and church backgrounds, who have fallen under the power, I can say that, at no time was hypnotism a feature, nor was any suggestion given. In fact, many times I will say to people there is no requirement for them to fall, but only to receive.

    I have been in places where the people have not seen or heard of falling under the power and prayed for them and they have fallen. I was once in a small indigenous community, in a house group where several people stood and, untouched by anyone, fell in unison, and began speaking in tongues before hitting the floor. No one was catching. No one there knew to catch. They fell on a wooden floor, or over chairs, and no one was hurt. The greatest part of this was the joy which enveloped the whole place.

    I was in a meeting where a well known minister prayed for every row of people. He stood at the end of the row, in the aisle, and had them turn towards him, so they were one in front of the other in the row, and laid hands on the person on the end. The odd thing was that, when he laid hands on the front person they all fell, almost instantaneously, except that each person behind hit the ground before the one in front. You cannot manufacture that.

    It is very easy to tell when people are faking falling, by the way. I will generally pick them up and tell them there is no need to do that. God will touch their lives just as well standing up as falling down. It is better to receive that way than to fake falling receive nothing.

    Derren is very impressive, as all professional performers are, and you can have your fantasy of hypnotism if you want, but it will not help you come to grips with what God is actually doing with people.

    I am not a professional hypnotist. I know nothing about it, nor have I ever had any training, rather choosing to stay away from anything remotely associated with the occult. I do not even like watching such videos, because he uses autosuggestion. Perhaps someone like Derren has developed a technique which can cause people to fall, but do they come up healed, or delivered from oppression, or from being demonised, or do they begin speaking in tongues, or become completely refreshed, or receive a radical change in their demeanour?

    It’s great to keep searching for truth, but you’re looking in the wrong places.

  213. Final word on this, Bill. Deren Brown reminds me somewhat of Balaam.

    Who knows, but God, what power Brown is tapping into to bring about his ‘ministry’. There are lying signs and wonders, which will even deceive the elect.

    For everything false, there must be a real, or it would have nothing to counterfeit.

  214. Power of suggestion and creating an atmosphere?

    Listened to an ex wof preacher talk about doing this very thing today. He was very sincere about his ministry, totally believed God was using him. It’s a testimony of God’s grace and his witness today is more powerful than the deception, as he called it, he was a part of.

    You have a story FL, he has a story.

  215. Thanks MN! Muddy the water even more.

    The truth is, strict Calvinists and Arminians would like to ignore the Bible verses that support their opponents viewpoints.

    Look, I would think of myself as an Arminian, but I recognise that the Father has held onto me at crucial moments in my life. His grace and mercy I can say was and is clearly evident. I can do nothing without Him, and through Him I can do anything, for it is Christ who strengthens me.

    The flip side is “make your calling and election sure.”

    As an aside, for those who are interested in the history of the reformation, even Calvin wasn’t a Calvinist. 😉

    Shalom

  216. IMPORTANT:

    PLEASE DONT ADD ANY MORE COMMENTS RE CALVINISM VS ARMINIANISM OR FREE WILL ETC TO THIS LONG THREAD. USE THE NEW THREAD.

    IF YOU HAVE POSTED HERE WHILE I WAS DOING THIS, PLEASE MOVE YOUR OWN COMMENT OVER IF YOU WISH.

    Forgive me for yelling!!!!

  217. Ever the sceptic, teddy. You don’t have to believe a word I say, of course, but I will not back down on giving glory to God for the things he has done. And the things he will do!

    Atmosphere?? You mean like the basketball court in an indigenous community on a freezing winter’s night, with two old flood lights and a perimeter of log fires to keep the blanketed crowd warm, the dogs fighting in the middle, with a very dodgy PA system, crackling mikes, out of tune guitars, discordant singing, but…where the people who prayed for span like tops and fell in a heap on the concrete, no catchers, no carpet, and they kept going for hours afterwards dancing and praising Jesus. Many salvations, many healings, much deliverance. Glory to God for his faithfulness!

    Atmosphere!! Like the desert town where we preached on top of a mount of sand and black ash, next to the local dunny, which we couldn’t see, because we only had a small ring of 40 watt globes to illuminate the whole area, but the glory fell and everyone who came forward for prayer fell before they reached us.

    Atmosphere, like the bike shed in a remote mining town, or the packing shed of a coffee bean factory in Honiara, or the coral rock floor of a small leaf hut church in Malaita, or the tiny, packed, palm-leaf and mud schoolroom in Vanuatu, where the children were in revival and the whole village came out to worship with such glory it was hard for anyone to stand.

    People fall anywhere the Presence is. It’s the worship, and the honouring of God which ushers in his anointing.

    Ha Ha! Glory! God can move in any ‘atmosphere’.

  218. Thanks, teddy! That’s more than once now you’ve helped remind me how good God is, how amazing the gospel is, and the privilege it is to serve such a wonderful, faithful, glorious God. I have much to be thankful for.

    You know, God does some extraordinary things, and he uses his people, ordinary people, just as Jesus said he would. I wouldn’t trade what God has given us for anything.

    Your friend who says he was a Word of Faith guy, but left it all behind, and now thinks he was deceived. What a sad testimony that is. I read about someone similar you pointed me to. I don’t know if it’s the same person, but I thought, reading what he had to say about Word of Faith, that it was tragic that he never really got it.

    I’ve probably grown out of a few things, but many of the adventures and exploits my family has had under God have been from within that grouping. I don’t regret one of them. Faith in God sustained us when nothing else would for many years. My kids are blessed to have been involved in our journeying in God. They’ve seen miracles, healing, salvations, met people from cultures they would never have met, people who impressed them with the simplicity of their faith, faith you rarely see in the secular West.

    What an indictment it is for the Church of the West to harbour such resentment against the wonders of God, and the amazing things which take place when faith is activated with boldness. I’ll never forget the look on my son’s face when he saw demons expelled from a man close up for the first time. He still talks about it. He knows it was God!

    My older son reminded my wife the other night of a message he heard me preach when he was a small boy. A message from Isaiah on the plumbline and level. I mean, he was 8 years old! I remember that from an ancient small hut in a country town in WA! Atmosphere! Ha Ha! Glory to God. He is our Atmosphere, our Breath, our Life, and our Sustenance!

    My goodness, I’m enthused! Thinking about this fires me up for more! Thanks again!

  219. Well FL, the gentleman is Junker Jorge , no secret there. You can discount his testimony. His background and conditioning came from Rhema and Kenneth Hagin, a seriously heavy involvement there. Pastored a church of 1000 people. The saddest thing there, is his 14 year old daughter’s death from a brain tumour. When he and wife found her diary, she had written how she couldn’t “confess” her headaches to her parents for fear of having lack of faith. As Junker Jorge admits, it was his delaying seeking medical help and believing for healing that hastened his daughter’s death – very sadly and openly confessing this. He said, had he remained part of the Baptist church, he would have sought help immediately.

    Did calling on Kenneth Hagin Jnr to pray help? No – close by but not available. What did Rhema teach and what does Rhema still teach to exert such a wicked influence?

    What brought him out? God’s revealed word and conviction.

    How many times do I have to say this? God heals as He wills, throughout human history! Do I believe the nonsense that goes on in WESTERN churches is of God? No! If Benny Hinn tells an audience to all hold hands and he yells “fire” or whatever, of course they all fall down, unwillingly being pulled down by the person next to them. But there they are, being told it’s the Holy Spirit.

    Been there FL.

    I’ve had “experiences” FL, sincere heartfelt “manifestations” surrounded by Godly people in private homes. Seeking but sincere. Who was getting the glory? Not Christ, we never mentioned His name or read His Word. Who was there? Pastors – we were manifesting something that I now believe was deception as a result of Rodney Howard-Browne’s circus coming to town.

    You can say I’m missing out FL, but why is there more love for Christ and His Word, dare I say “manifesting” in our lives? Why is our passion to witness and share Him stronger than it’s ever been? Are we charismatic? Yes in the sense of enthusiasm, which is now added to our already passionate Anglican community.

    My stepmother-in-law died last week, won to Christ through the faithful witness, on her deathbed, by a Catholic man, who, in giving her eulogy, lifted Christ high, with no mention of Mary or purgatory, whose love of Christ meant so much to him that he couldn’t bear to see his beloved “aunty” die without Him. That, to me, having been part of, and witnessed my father-in-law’s transformation , means more to me than manifestations of spirits.

    Finally FL, we are easily deceived, because we still struggle, as Paul says, with the sins that constantly beset us.

  220. @ Fl – In your testimony of events, you didn’t say that you first preached the sufficiency of Christ. Now I’m not suggesting you didn’t but how does one validate an experience without first preaching the gospel? And if nothing “manifested” does it matter? Does it make that preachment any less efficacious if nothing happens? What is the ongoing fruit of those occasions, have churches been established with the Word being taught clearly? Have those people who were “touched” established themselves with fruitful lives?

    The reason I’m asking this is because at C3 there were many similar “manifestations” and most of the people most prominently displaying such things have not borne fruit, in fact they don’t even go to church anymore. Living like the “devil”, in some cases!

  221. I am not the one who is questioning your current experiences, teddy. So far you have questioned everything I stand for, just about. If you are content with the Word and filled with joy and peace, wonderful! Praise God, not man. His Word is true and will work just as much for a person who has problems with us ‘Spirit-filled’ mob, as it will for us.

    You, and Bill, have attempted to disqualify the gifts of the Spirit, speaking in tongues, and falling under the power as evidence of the Presence of God in people’s lives. I am telling you that God is still moving in these areas. You are judging me and others like me by your own experiences. I am sorry you did not enjoy what you were involved in. But your experiences are not the Testimony of Jesus. I follow the Word and Spirit, not the experiences of people, good or bad. I have been blessed. It has not been perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but you will never find the perfect church or oversight. That’s why we need Jesus.

    I do nothing without preaching the Word. In fact, I do nothing, after the gospel is preached, but allow the Holy Spirit to work through me. I couldn’t heal, deliver or save anyone. I haven’t got a clue why people fall when we pray for them. It doesn’t bother me if they fall or not. I trust Jesus to do what he says he will do. That’s all! The manifestations are a bonus. I do not consider them essential, but they are certainly impressive from where I am standing – in awe of the power of God.

    The gospel is preached. Depending on the audience, I will either preach or teach. If unsaved I will generally preach from the gospels, the amazing testimony of Jesus touching the lives of the oppressed. If saved, I will teach form the Epistles and gospels, with OT examples.

    Again, even though I give testimony to God’s goodness, you seek more qualification of events.

    Everywhere we go the people are followed up, either by local established ministers, or by those we train. We have established churches where there were none. The people are still involved. We are training leaders to take them further.
    ••••••••••••••••••••••

    I’m very sad that the Rhema Pastor lost his daughter. Things like that shake a person’s faith, for sure. We were never taught by Rhema to ignore medical assistance or advice. I have never taught that. I have never believed that. God can heal us by many means. Doctors and nurses do an outstanding job. ‘Confession’ ministry isn’t denial of reality. Some people have thought that. Some have even taught that, but I never heard that, personally, nor have we taught it. Receive healing by any means available. If your children are sick, and you are unsure of what to do, take them to the hospital as quickly as possible. Get medical assistance. Get a diagnosis. It is an abuse to make your children suffer unnecessarily. Going to the doctor, or taking medicine doesn’t negate faith, or the Word, or stop God from healing. My goodness! That is religious superstition. If children are taught to deny their feelings or their illnesses, then they will suffer. I don’t now of any parents who think this is wise. “If any amongst you is sick, let them call for the elders’. That is the Word. That is what is taught at Rhema. If the elders know, then the parents know, and action can be taken. I don’t know what happened, but someone should have known. In Bible School we had health professionals talk to us about some of these things! There’s something not right about this.

    Kenneth Hagin Jr runs a church of 8,000. Generally there are people on staff who are available 24 hours for consultation and for prayer in a church that size. Have you researched this? Our church is nowhere near that size, but we have people who are known to be available for prayer for healing, people who live very close to the hospital.
    ••••••••••••••••••••••

    God heals through his people, teddy. That is scripture. That is truth. That is his sovereign will in action, revealed in the Word, and actioned through the Church in obedience to his will. That is what you find so hard to understand.

  222. Teddy you seem to be calling into question every miracle/healing done by anyone, but especially if they are charismatic/pente.

    Are you really in a position to do that?

    No I don’t like snake oil salesman either.

  223. Facelift: Never underestimate the power of ‘Atmospheres’. From what I’ve read on Jewish culture, we invite atmospheres through our actions – they are connected to the angelic spirits. Some writings even suggest that atmospheres are the presences of beings – including the presence of God’s Holy Spirit.

    When we worship God, we are asking Him to be present and engage in our meetings – no matter where we are, as you rightly noted.

    ••••••••••••••••••••••
    Thanks Bill for that clip!

    I am convinced that Derren Brown is an aethiest but is drawing on the powers of his own spirit and soul or another spirit he is not aware of. This is soul-power/magic. He doesn’t believe in God but believes in the power of his own ability to convert people. This, at it’s core is the source of witch-craft, whether he realises it or not.

    Simon, ‘the Power of God’, had this same power in the New Testament to bedazzle his audiences.

    When the Holy Spirit came, we can observe he was indeed a type of medium because he wanted to buy this ‘spirit’ from the disciples so he could move in its power – for his own glory. It was a spirit that was greater than his.

    Facelift: “He is our Atmosphere, our Breath, our Life, and our Sustenance!” AMEN FACELIFT!

  224. Back to Kubala though, I’d like to think that the Holy Spirit is indeed doing something. I’ve seen Him heal. But because the camera is on, if the Spirit chooses to hold backs His hand for whatever reason, who’s spirit will try to force a healing on someone.

    And if they are healed or convinced of being healed in this way, where did the power come from? How long would the healing last?

    There are enough youtube videos to suggest that people are confused when things are of God and when things aren’t – and their confession they are healed when in fact they aren’t.

  225. “You, and Bill, have attempted to disqualify the gifts of the Spirit, speaking in tongues, and falling under the power as evidence of the Presence of God in people’s lives.”

    I think that both Teddy and Bill are excercising caution on people who promote themselves more than God and demand healing before God even walks into the studio. I think they both believe in Gods healing.

    In fact Teddy… YOU ARE BEING HEALED RIGHT NOW! 😀 😀

  226. Actually Derren Brown (First Dan Brown now Derren Brown?), even says he uses psychics and magics to do his tricks:

    He is a Simple Simon!

    0:42 “You said once that your work was a mixture of magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship.”

    Derren even says he uses ‘conjuring techniques’. 1:11

    Derren then says he doesn’t believe them and skeptical about them, but they work. So he believes they are powerful but still skeptical of them. It sounds like most beginner wicca’ns or witches who start exploring the powers of the occult or New Age.

    I personally believe, after watching the above clips he has convinced himself into deception. It’s quite clear he is operating on some psychic or spiritual plain – and he denies it. What are your thoughts on this? (Maybe this is for another thread?)

  227. Thanks for that pronouncement Specks!… woooooah as Matt Ford would say. (maybe he’s ducking the Holy Spirit who’se trying to smack him seriously for his heresy!) 🙂

    And you all know what I believe, regardless of how FL trys to represent me.

    Getting phonecalls late last night for prayer from someone with two serious different cancers, thyroid and cervical – well, you don’t ring people you can’t trust, to stand in faith with you, do you?

  228. Just wanted to comment on Derren Brown. He is a mentalist. He clearly explains that every single illusion or effect on people in his shows is carefully orchestrated. I’ve watched a few of his TV shows, including ‘Trick or Treat’ – they are fascinating. One show ‘converted’ people to believe God was real and tangibly present, by having people feel ‘God’s presence’ so powerfully that they were utterly convinced. He then ‘unconverted’ them, explaining what he had done.

    The only person who was not completely convinced at the time, was a religious minister, who believed in God but didn’t necessarily believe that what Derren was doing was from God. So of course he wasn’t unconvinced about God either. His faith was unaffected at the end of the day.

    That’s what I remember anyway; my memory might be a bit fuzzy. He also trained a girl to escape from being tied up in a sack after being ‘kidnapped’ without warning in the middle of the night and thrown in a freezing cold lake, and trained a man to win a major trivia event (or come second – not sure which), by having him speed read (somehow) a library of books and encyclopedias over a number of weeks, just tracing his finger down the page and turning a new page over every few seconds – no attempt to consciously remember.

    He does not do any ‘magic’. Everything is minutely planned; he is simply a master of mentalist techniques. Many of his shows take weeks or months to prepare the intricate details – and – to select the right people for each ‘trick or treat’. David Tennant (the ex-Dr Who actor – and other shows that I enjoyed) was one of Brown’s subjects in one of his shows.

    Brown is a far superior master of these techniques than any religious charlatan, I would think. Someone being a charlatan doesn’t require the vast and complex array of technique that Brown knows. It would be far simpler.

    *************

    Having said all that, I don’t write off what FL says he has experienced or seen God do over the years. I do think that sometimes even in the midst of real things, you will find some people responding in various ways out of their sheer desire for an experience. However, I thought John Wimber used to make a good case for seeing signs and wonders follow when genuine evangelism is taking place, as a means of verifying the gospel message. After all, this is what Christ and the disciples did. But it is human nature to copy things that are good for self gain, so we will see both.

    So we can’t just accept everything we see and hear, nor can we just write off everything. Looking at the fruit afterwards is what we are told to do – it is expected by implication that sometimes there is no other way to distinguish between the genuine and the fake. Plus, we know that God will at times work despite men’s motives, so that Christ is preached regardless.

    It is not surprising that where there is the real thing, there will also be major charlatans, and in my view, where we see people seeking personal glory (celebrity, status, insisting on royal treatment), or money and power or influence (focussing on offerings, hobnobbing with powerful or influential leaders, giving people of status preferential treatment or time), then we are seeing bad fruit, if it continues. An absence of these things and a Christlike dedication to service, regardless of personal cost – that would seem to be more convincing to me.

  229. For those who haven’t read any of Junker Jorge’s testimony (that Fl claims “never really got it”), here’s a taste…

    “Something I Can Do

    “I can go to most any church, in any denomination, and turn the place upside down theologically if given a few opportunities to teach the Word of God. God did not shine His Face on me in some areas, but when it comes to teaching the Word of God, I can teach most any doctrine and explain it in a memorable manner inwhich any redneck can understand and retain for life.

    I can go to most any Baptist Church and preach on the Baptism in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues, give an altar call, and it will sound like the Second Chapter of Acts all over again.

    I can go to just about any denominational church and preach on prosperity, seed time and harvest and tithing, and I will rake in record offerings. (easiest way for a preacher to get rich really fast)(like taking candy from kids)

    I can hold a healing meeting, guarantee miracles, signs and wonders and have people falling out in the Spirit and claiming healings instantly. I know how to do it. I can make numerous ailments and medical conditions disappear immediately.

    I can go to any Arminian Church and give altar calls for the lost and the backsliders. I can go to a Presbyterian Church and teach on the Five Points of Calvinism, T.U.L.I.P, and the Five Solas just as good or better than anyone else.

    I can go to just about any Word of Faith Church, and if given a few sessions, most every member will renounce the Word of Faith Message and throw away all of their Kenneth Hagin tapes.

    I can go to any Charismatic church and have just about every tongue talker there wondering if they are really praying in an unknown tongue. I can shred any defenses with the Word of God.

    The main reason that I can do any of these things, and I have done all of them, is that most church people have no idea how to read their Bibles. Most Christians today have a weak biblical foundation if any at all. Many Christians have belief systems that have been formed by reading Scripture out of context. I can make the Bible say anything that I want it to, and I have for years.

    It is time that Christians everywhere take theology seriously. You cannot have a right and correct relationship with God without having right and correct theology. Feelings mean absolutely nothing. Experiences mean nothing. People and Satan can both manufacture feelings and experiences. What believers need is a strong Biblical foundation. If your foundation is crooked, your whole house is crooked.”

  230. Nothing like an ex-marine, ex-policeman, ex-WOF pastor to make such a bold proclamation!

  231. @ RP, I think we often forget that the Lord warns us that lying signs and wonders would characterize the end times. How do we differentiate between the true and the false? The content of the message preached.

    Jesus said in Mark 8:34 “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

    Someone used the words “revivals of revelry” to descibe a lot of what we saw over the last few years. Of course peole are attracted to the hype and excitement. Lift the “experience” above the preaching and what are we left to contend with? Big time deception.

  232. RP: “But it is human nature to copy things that are good for self gain, so we will see both.”

    Like Kubala’s leg growing trick!

  233. “@ RP, I think we often forget that the Lord warns us that lying signs and wonders would characterize the end times. How do we differentiate between the true and the false? The content of the message preached.”

    Yes, but also the fruit.

    Even a message that is word for word scriptural, can be used as law, and become a burden for those who hear it. It can sound like truth, but in context not convey the true person of Christ. Fruit will then distinguish it.

    A message can also be utterly scriptural but be accompanied by lying signs and wonders. Depends upon the speaker and their motivations. The truth can be misused for personal gain, in other words. Truth is spoken, but the ends are for the gain of the speaker or their personal agenda, rather than out of true concern for the listener or love.

    So I thing both the message and the fruit are important. The truth can be spoken but perhaps not conveyed unless the person speaking has a real sense of Christ in their personal life. If they see Christ as a hard taskmaster, that will be conveyed, even if every word is scriptural. Likewise, if they understand His love, that will be conveyed.

    Of course the Holy Spirit can transcend any human being, and convey what He wants to to the listener regardless, especially if the listener is really seeking. I’m sure we’ve all had that experience of God quickening something to us quite apart from the speaker’s main message.

  234. I do not dispute at all that lying signs and wonders will characterise the end times. However, does scripture tell us that that is the only kind of sign or wonder that will characterise the end times? What is scripture trying to say? It is warning us – but we do have to be careful not to take it further than it actually goes.

  235. They practice walking on water and now because they do it, don’t consider it a miracle?

    That miracle was never for us to perform, but rather Jesus’ to prove His Messiah-ship and that He is the Word and Power of God made manifest.

    But still an amazing site to see those guys run on water! I was shocked too!

  236. Junker Jorge,
    ‘I can go to most any church, in any denomination, and turn the place upside down theologically if given a few opportunities to teach the Word of God’

    A vain boast. I watched JJ (John Edwards) on a video blog, and if our people didn’t see through him in five minutes I’d be very surprised. They’re not stupid, or ignorant of the Word. They would know a fake if they saw one.

    ‘I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith’.

    His doctrine on a few Word of Faith things just doesn’t add up. You say he Pastored a church of 1,000, but the Hillside Church in Alabama, looks as if it would hold no more than 200.

    We have a guy visiting at the moment who graduated at the same time JJ claims. I’ll ask, if I see him around, if he knew him.

  237. @ Specks – Did you ever try that as a kid? I had five brithers and I remember that stunt (fail!), we also liked to swim as far out to sea as we could, much to our parents horror. We found sources of amusement limited back “last century”!

    @ FL – Over 300 active members and 8 on staff roll at the The Edge and Hillside Church Trussville, could certainly have more attending not as active members.
    http://junkerjorge1.blogspot.com/2009/10/hillside-church-edgerip.html

    Funny though, the deacons all used to laugh at how PP would pump up the numbers from the stage after he had been given the official number on a slip of paper. He would do the same thing with “decisions”.

  238. @ FL – try and discredit him, go for it. He’s paid a big enough price with the death of his daughter.

  239. teddy,
    you used this man as evidence that many good Christians, some who would have had equally tragic losses, should be discredited.

    He boasted that he could convince any congregation of anything.

    I have already sympathised with his loss, and, of course, I do, but he is blaming other people for this. Publicly. We will all be judged with the same thing we judge others with.

    You have not ceased to discredit our church, our ministry and our doctrine. I have given you a reason, and a defence for our hope, and our way of doing things, yet you refuse to believe a word we say. You used this man, along with others, as part of the discrediting process. What? You want us to say ‘yes, you’re right, he’s right, we’re all dummies and he could come into our church and persuade us this way or that’? Vanity! It’s a vain boast.

    I did not try to discredit him actually. I checked out some of his claims. I looked at his video, where he teaches on some areas, which any first year Rhema student would see straight through, and identify his error. I challenged his boast. I doubt he’d even get as far as the pulpit. We didn’t come down with the last shower!

    You haven’t even acknowledged the answers I gave to your questions on whether I preach the gospel. You still claim we are deceivers, and operate under lying signs.

    By the way, I have not tried to discredit you ministry, or prayer. I have said, often, that this is great.

  240. @ FL – Well I’ve never been banned from a blog (hmmmm) and I’ve never really wanted to dialogue with you Fl, because as I’ve said so many times , you’re the “old me”. You love to make assertions about me when my remarks about “deceit and deceivers” are more general” than specific, and pretty much in line with most of us on this blog (which is why we blog here in the first place).

    Will I question your remarks? Yes, because you are not always forthcoming (or haven’t clarified a point) and often skirt around issues and try to change the subject.

    I’ve contacted JJ and passed on your opinions so we will see.

    “My Comments Can Beat Up Your Comments”
    Posted by Brian Thornton on May 12, 2010

    “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Pr. 15:1

    “I’m guilty of it. So are you. We’ve all been there. We are in the middle of a discussion regarding some issue within the church or some doctrine, and our ultimate goal (while maybe not consciously stated) is to make the other guy look bad. He or she said something or puts forth a position that we have no sympathy or agreement with, and so we type in some remark that we think is quite pithy and will surely put our opponent in his place once and for all. The only problem is that our opponent has a keyboard too, and so he returns the favor in like manner. And so the dueling diatribes go on until one or both have had enough and one or both end the discussion with an anathema hurled through cyberspace.

    I would like to think that I’ve gotten better at avoiding this kind of thing as I’ve gotten older, but I know that my flesh keeps me right there at the edge of doing what I’ve described above every time I carry out an electronic conversation with someone who has a different opinion than me. I will say though, that some seem quite determined to exact their ad-hominem divine judgment with almost every comment they make on blogs or Twitter. As one who considers himself to have been there and back, to at least some degree, may I please ask that you think twice before replying to someone with whom you disagree and realize that your thoughts on the matter are not as creative and definitive and jaw-dropping as you might think they are. Mine certainly are not anyway.

    So, from one self-absorbed egotistical blogger to another, stay on topic, don’t get personal, keep your insults to yourself and remember that we all will give an account for every careless word we utter in this life. And, yes, I do believe that will include the ones we banged out on the keyboard as well as the ones that required vocal chords.”

  241. I don’t think we should continue in this way, teddy. I have not said anything about you or your prayer that could be called discrediting. I have only defended the position of those of us who are Pentecostal who believe God works through the Church in the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit today. I think that is reasonable on a discussion blog. I have discussed doctrine, and it has been an interesting thread, and I have answered your questions, which you have not acknowledged.

    Prehaps you missed this comment I made earlier:
    https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/live-supernatural-tv-on-its-way/#comment-10506

    In it I said:
    ‘I’m very sad that the Rhema Pastor lost his daughter. Things like that shake a person’s faith, for sure. We were never taught by Rhema to ignore medical assistance or advice. I have never taught that. I have never believed that. God can heal us by many means. Doctors and nurses do an outstanding job. ‘Confession’ ministry isn’t denial of reality. Some people have thought that. Some have even taught that, but I never heard that, personally, nor have we taught it. Receive healing by any means available. If your children are sick, and you are unsure of what to do, take them to the hospital as quickly as possible. Get medical assistance. Get a diagnosis. It is an abuse to make your children suffer unnecessarily. Going to the doctor, or taking medicine doesn’t negate faith, or the Word, or stop God from healing. My goodness! That is religious superstition. If children are taught to deny their feelings or their illnesses, then they will suffer. I don’t now of any parents who think this is wise. “If any amongst you is sick, let them call for the elders’. That is the Word. That is what is taught at Rhema. If the elders know, then the parents know, and action can be taken. I don’t know what happened, but someone should have known. In Bible School we had health professionals talk to us about some of these things! There’s something not right about this.

    Kenneth Hagin Jr runs a church of 8,000. Generally there are people on staff who are available 24 hours for consultation and for prayer in a church that size. Have you researched this? Our church is nowhere near that size, but we have people who are known to be available for prayer for healing, people who live very close to the hospital.’

    I hope you passed that on to Junker Jorge.

    I also said this about you:
    ‘I am not the one who is questioning your current experiences, teddy. So far you have questioned everything I stand for, just about. If you are content with the Word and filled with joy and peace, wonderful! Praise God, not man. His Word is true and will work just as much for a person who has problems with us ‘Spirit-filled’ mob, as it will for us.’

    What I have done is scriptural. I have given a reason and a defence for my hope. You used Junker Jorge to challenge what we stand for, and some ministry we were engaged in some time ago, from which we have moved on, but still have fond memories, and are glad to have been associated with, and which is much maligned by many in the Body, especially those who are engaged in neo-calvinism, which I think we should look at and address, because it is divisive, and will continue to be so as long as neo-calvinists refuse to hear what others have to say.

    Finally, I am surprised that you would think that Junker Jorge could come into your friendly, welcoming Anglican church and think he has the ability and power to convert all, or even some, of you to Word of Faith doctrine in a single message. I would consider that an insult to your intelligence, let alone your spiritual and scriptural integrity.

    God bless you, teddy. I know you think I’m the villain of this piece, and maybe you’re right, but it takes two to tango! I like you anyway. The tenacious can tend to stuff the odd thing up, but they certainly get the job done! 🙂

  242. @ FL – Just for you from Junker Jorge “He can email Tony Cooke at tcookemin@aol who ran Rhema for years, or he can contact rmai@rhema.org and ask the alumni office, or he can look at my pic in the 96-98 year books.”

    Junker Jorge was being entirely valid in saying those things, the point being made as to why he could do this? – because people today don’t read/know their Bibles and have a weak foundation. By the way, any pastor could do that under those circumstances, especially in the seeker-sensitive churches with their watered- down “gospel”.

    And could he do it in my church, no, they read their bibles and the minister rightly divides the Word. And we allow questions! And I’m there! 🙂

  243. Without knowing what you wrote to Junker Jorge about what I said, teddy, I am at something of a disadvantage.

    I have not challenged the authenticity of his graduation. I acknowledge that on his word, but his doctrine has shifted far from what I know of Word of Faith. Tony Cooke left Rhema over ten years ago. I can only guess that you told Junker Jorge I had challenged his authenticity as a graduate, which I did not. The evidence of that is on this thread.

    I don’t think it is for me to contact anyone. He can read what I’ve written here and freely comment. I will respond if necessary.

    I am reminding you that you used his words to attempt to discredit our ministry, and I responded. I did not criticise his tragic loss, nor was I unsympathetic. It has to affect the rest of your life. It is a terrible thing to happen. It shakes faith. But it doesn’t negate faith, or the need for faith.

    You used the word ‘wicked’ to describe Kenneth Hagin’s ministry. Junker Jorge would know that in 1998, Rhema had over 8,000 members. I was there in ’97 for a Conference, and it was at that number then. That is a large congregation. I know that they had ministries in place which he could have contacted for prayer and support. I’m not saying they did nothing wrong, or didn’t make mistakes, we all do, and I don’t know the circumstances of the situation, only his view, but you called them wicked. I refute that. I outlined the teaching we had on medical care for children.

    Changing denomination, or moving away form a doctrinal stance happens to many people, including pastors. That is fine. But it is not evidence that the ones who are left behind are either wicked or wrong.

    Several things Jonker Jorge writes about Word of faith in his blog piece called ‘When a child dies in Word of Faith’ are unkind and untrue.

    On sickness and hospitals and Word of Faith. I have a pastor friend, who collapsed suddenly. He is Pastor of Word of Faith church. His wife is the main preacher. Of course, they prayed, but they rushed him to the hospital. He was found to have a brain tumour, and operated on immediately. Then he was in a critical condition, and pastors form all over the nation were praying. He came through and is back in ministry today. No one blamed his wife, or his church, or the Word of Faith teaching. That is a completely different scenario to Junker Jorge’s.

    Phil Baker, our Pastor when we were in Word of Faith, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was given hospital treatment and surgery. He is recovering, but not fully functioning yet. We are still praying, upholding him and his family. Many preachers are praying, including Word of Faith people. We are not blaming Heather or his oversight, or God or Word of Faith, or anyone.

    In our time in Rhema Bible Training School, two young women died, one of Leukaemia and one of breast cancer. The girl with cancer was also from our local church, so we knew the family well. Were they ignored? No! Were they condemned? No! Were they loved? Yes! Were they blamed? No! We all prayed, we all comforted, we all stood with them, we all cried, we all felt the pain, we all hoped, we all grieved. They went on ahead of us. We will meet again. Does this help shape your understanding of he Word. You’d better believe it!

    Do Word of Faith folk treat suffering people any differently to Anglicans, or Baptists? No! We are all powerless against disease without God’s intervention. That is why we have faith in God. We trust his Word. We do what we can.

    This body is subject to the curse on this earth, brought about by Adam’s sin. It is the last thing to be redeemed. It can and does get sick, be diseased, and broken, sometimes oppressed, depressed, and can even die. That is part of living on this world at this time.

    That is why the whole earth groans in anticipation of the redemption of our bodies.

  244. No point in continuing down this road, FL, this Signposts blog started out as a “secure” place to share our views and “angst” and to be able to “rage against the system”. If you want to own it now, it’s all yours.

    Doesn’t mean I’m not blogging but I find this an unsafe place right now. You do come across, to me, with a manner of condescension, I think you have appointed yourself some kind of spiritual authority here and personally, I don’t believe you to be qualified. By the way, there was an impied “threat of exposure” in your question of JJ’s background at Rhema, but from others’ previous experiences with you, that’s your way.

  245. No, don’t leave Signpost02 on my account. It’s your community. I’ll go, if it means you’ll feel safer.

    No threat to Junker John, at all. I don’t know how that could possibly happen. I don’t think you’ve stopped raging against the system, though. I think I probably aided you in that!

    I’ll leave you to it!

  246. Woah!

    row back from the brink people.

    I have my own issues with WoF, but perhaps we need to stop discussing it for now.

    It’s getting too heated and people are getting too upset with each other. This is a place to vent and also recover. Let’s not vent against each other.

    FL, take a week off the blog. This thread needs to close now as it is going nowhere.

    Shalom

  247. I’ve read a lot of the posts here about healing and being slain in the spirit etc. I would love to believe the pentecostal/charismatic teaching. I believe theoretically in the blessing of God – healings, everything. I think it’s possible for God to sprinkle gold dust in the kilos, make people fall over, levitate, heal everyone, give people cars and houses, you name it. But here is my problem.

    My conclusion after decades in pentecostal and charismatic churches, reading books, watching videos, researching on the internet is this……

    Sorry, Faithlift, but I just don’t see the reality.

    Slain in the Spirit? Yeah, I’m with Teddy. People want desperately to receive. I’ve been on the healing lines and been prayed for so many times. I know that preachers want people to fall because that makes them seem more annointed. And I know that people want to fall because people want to seem more receptive. But on a pure, honest level, people really do want to experience God.
    But, when I go to Benny Hinn or the local CCC, or CCXYZ or whatever it is – I honestly don’t believe that people are falling over because God is somehow on them. Maybe it happens some times, but nowhere near what it supposedly happens.

    Healings? Yeah I know every man and his dog has been to!India and seen thousands of salvations, hundreds of lepers and deaf healed. Man, if I believed all the mission trip reports I’ve heard, there wouldn’t be any sick hindus left!
    And I’ve been in local church and had the “man of God” come through and made declarations, and if you were there for the first time it would really “seem” as if people got healed because the “man” said it was so, and the person fell over, and then looked happy, and everyone clapped ….but, next week? Well, somehow the good report wasn’t so good. But the man of God no doubt had a wonderful report of the way God showed up.

    See, I’ve been there when somebody has lengthened legs like it was just so easy, and everyone laughed and rejoiced and the kids who gathered to watch were all convinced. But of course Brother Harry with the “really obviously” short arm or leg – well, it didn’t happen for him.

    I could go on with how many times the strong men over cities have been bound – except that the next foreign man of God didn’t realize he was bound, and bound him again, and declared again that “Well he’s bound now – this city will never be the same”.

    Don’t get me started on the men of God who were so convinced about the soon to happen rapture.

    So I’ve raved on, but to make it simple, it’s hype.

    But when the music is great and upbeat, the numbers increase, and the visiting speakers are funny and uplifting, and the regular senior minister is funny, entertaining, uplifting, handsome etc, and has a cutesie cool wife, well that church will grow even without the healings and miracles.

    Deep down I think mega church pastors know this. Which is why a lot of the preaching has changed.

    So people can argue that healing is for today from the bible and I believe you. I just want to see people REALLY getting healed. Honestly.

    For the record, I don’t think many pastors just use tithing to get rich, and I don’t think many pastors purposely try to deceive regarding healing and slaying in the spirit. But I believe in self-deception. What the pentecostal and charismatic churches need, is just – the truth. Is what the Pastor saying true? Did what they say happened, is true? If it is, great. If it isn’t, then lets be good Christians and be honest.

    It’s my suspicion that there are millions of ex church goers who may have backslidden, but part of it could also be because deep down – they knew they didn’t get healed, they knew they were pushed, they knew the prophecy or word of knowledge was off. And often they don’t tell anyone until some personal problem or dispute gets too big and then they leave.

    I don’t hate Houston, Pringle or anyone. But, truth is truth.

  248. Sadly, churchman, you go from hope to hype in five paragraphs! 🙂

    Not seeing the reality doesn’t negate it. Even in Jesus day, he was accused of casting out demons by Beelzebub, and being ‘only’ the carpenter’s son, even though multitudes saw the phenomenon of healing and deliverance. I don’t suppose it will be any different for his servants. His disciples were warned against using his name for healing.

    Some people see what they want to see, or ignore what confronts them.

    I am not moved by your doubts or sceptical remarks. I am certain of the genuineness of what takes place in our ministry. I do not use hype. In fact I would find it far more difficult to attempt to hype people than to simply take God at his Word.

    I share your desire to see people genuinely healed. Not all are healed, true, nor do we always see what we would like to see. But those who are we rejoice with, and believe for more. I do not blame God, or his Word, maybe our own shortcomings, that we don’t see greater manifestations.

    From a personal respective I am more interested in what takes place after ministry than manifestations. If they take place I praise God, if they do not I praise God. But it the fruit which interests me. Like the men in leadership from two different remote communities we just returned from, who have called prayer meetings to earnestly pray for change to come over their people. That you cannot hype. It is the Holy Spirit at work in their lives. To God be the glory.

  249. “I do not use hype.”

    Yeah right! That made me laugh. I don’t mind it when you preach the gospel – that is general passion and sincerity.

    But you definitely use hype on your audiences.
    You promote the hype of C3OF church and Phil Pringle’s material. Apparently you ‘step into the prophets mantle’ when you preach – so obviously what you say is not ‘Hagen’ hype.

    Let’s face it. You use hype. The front of a pentecostal church is a show. Hype is entertaining.

  250. Is this you being the cranky teacher at the front of the class again, s&p?

    It just doesn’t fit your personality. I know when someone is called of God to be a tough, in-your-face talker, and this isn’t it. Be yourself. You’re a loveable, cuddly person with a heart for souls, and a sense of justice, not a cruncher. It’s like being slapped with a wet handkerchief!

    I do not know or need hype. I’m led by the Holy Spirit.

  251. Miracles happen today. God is at work.

    They are the signs of the Messiah. Jesus said the lame walk, the deaf hear, the blind see. The gospel is preached, people are being saved. “These things will you do also, and greater, because I go to the Father’. Glory to God. He alone is great.

    Nothing happens without Jesus.

    I hope one day you’ll develop a godly sense of humour. A merry heart does good like a medicine!

  252. Miracles or acts of providence? Don’t we define a miracle as something created out of nothing “ex nihilo”. Are we missing the wonderful, everyday providential? When we pray and God heals/delivers/provides whether supernaturally or through doctors, do we define that as miraculous? Was it created out of nothing – or God doing His amazing providence to achieve His purposes for us. Are we using the word “miracle” less than how it’s defined in the bible?

    I’ve realised that I had been missing the everyday providential in the seeking of the occasional “miracle”. My daily awareness of God has shifted since meditating on this over the last 3 years.

    “The faith that sees the hand of God in the natural outworking of divine providence (and understands that God is sovereign over every detail of everything that happens) is not a lesser faith than the kind of belief that can only see God at work when He intervenes in spectacular, supernatural, and miraculous ways.”

  253. I agree Teddy, Kubala et al are trying to produce “miracles” in order that people will have faith. Faith might be more about seeing God’s providence working through our lives, and throughout the whole world. If we bases our faith on special events what happens to our faith when that event turns out to be something different to what is presented?

    —————————

    “I’m led by the Holy Spirit”, “Stepping into the Prophet’s mantle” , and some of the comments on Joel A’Bell’s “critics” thread seem to indicate an attitude of “We are part of God’s true church, and He achieves his purposes through us”. This is a non-critical attitude to one’s faith and ministry and I think its dangerous. It’s a “God is on our side” way of thinking which then leads inevitably to “… but not on your side”

  254. Faithlift.
    I don’t think you read my posts. Your analogy is wrong. I wasn’t a Pharisee, I was a disciple – an insider. What I am saying is, for years I heard testimonies and was in meetings when things supposedly happened – but they didn’t. Because the people they happened to were – me, my friends, the home meeting leader, the Pastor’s wife!!

    As for the fruit in peoples’ lives that you talk about? Yeah, there were wonderful people. So I have known many beautiful people who loved God, studied their bibles, had fellowship – great Christians. They were that before and after the healing line. But they would have still been great Christians even if they didn’t go to the healing line, fall over, have the man of power tell everyone he was healed, write it up in his magazine etc etc…only to see the person die within weeks.
    Come on, if you have been in a pentecostal church for any length of time, you know what I am talking about if you are honest.

    Anyway, all I want to say to someone like you is – if you are saying that you are seeing the lame walk etc etc – give us the names and addresses of the people who “really were lame and everyone and their doctor knows it”, who after your show are now walking. But if you don’t have that, it’s wrong to say, “yeah man, it was awesome, the lame walked..next I’m gonna be raisin the dead man”….

    The Pentecostal world is like the wizard of oz.
    On the way to Oz there is genuine excitement, hope, good times, fun. Don’t get me wrong – the wizard is not God, It’s the annointed leader.

    I am sure there are many happy fulfilled people in charismatic mega churches who are growing in the Lord.. But that isn’t because everything that is preached or done or said to have taken place is true.

    By the way, again you say that in Jesus day they talked about Beelzebub.
    What I am saying is that much of what goes on in charismatic circles – is not Beelzebub, the Devil, demons. No it’s just people playing around.
    And Jesus didn’t deny the miracles. But they wanted them stopped. I am the opposite. If you are doing miracles there – go for it. Do more. Do the rounds of some hospitals while you are at it.
    What I am saying is not that I am offended that you are doing healings and miracles on the wrong day or in the wrong way or advertising them too much. I am saying that you aren’t doing what you say you are. And you cant prove it. But don’t worry, neither can Benny Hinn. Neither can the gold dust and feathers people. Think about it. If you people were doing all the healings and miracles that you say you are, after all these decades there shouldnt be any skeptics. And there would be lessons about it in medical school. Professor “And if all else fails, and even if it doesnt -send your patients to Pringle in CCC. He’s been flowing in the annointing for years now and it’s just getting stronger. We can’t explain it, but it’s definitely real”. No, there is none of that. Wh

  255. Faithlift.
    I don’t think you read my posts. Your analogy is wrong. I wasn’t a Pharisee, I was a disciple – an insider. What I am saying is, for years I heard testimonies and was in meetings when things supposedly happened – but they didn’t. Because the people they happened to were – me, my friends, the home meeting leader, the Pastor’s wife!!

    As for the fruit in peoples’ lives that you talk about? Yeah, there were wonderful people. So I have known many beautiful people who loved God, studied their bibles, had fellowship – great Christians. They were that before and after the healing line. But they would have still been great Christians even if they didn’t go to the healing line, fall over, have the man of power tell everyone he was healed, write it up in his magazine etc etc…only to see the person die within weeks.
    Come on, if you have been in a pentecostal church for any length of time, you know what I am talking about if you are honest.

    Anyway, all I want to say to someone like you is – if you are saying that you are seeing the lame walk etc etc – give us the names and addresses of the people who “really were lame and everyone and their doctor knows it”, who after your show are now walking. But if you don’t have that, it’s wrong to say, “yeah man, it was awesome, the lame walked..next I’m gonna be raisin the dead man”….

    The Pentecostal world is like the wizard of oz.
    On the way to Oz there is genuine excitement, hope, good times, fun. Don’t get me wrong – the wizard is not God, It’s the annointed leader.

    I am sure there are many happy fulfilled people in charismatic mega churches who are growing in the Lord.. But that isn’t because everything that is preached or done or said to have taken place is true.

    By the way, again you say that in Jesus day they talked about Beelzebub.
    What I am saying is that much of what goes on in charismatic circles – is not Beelzebub, the Devil, demons. No it’s just people playing around.
    And Jesus didn’t deny the miracles. But they wanted them stopped. I am the opposite. If you are doing miracles there – go for it. Do more. Do the rounds of some hospitals while you are at it.
    What I am saying is not that I am offended that you are doing healings and miracles on the wrong day or in the wrong way or advertising them too much. I am saying that you aren’t doing what you say you are. And you cant prove it. But don’t worry, neither can Benny Hinn. Neither can the gold dust and feathers people. Think about it. If you people were doing all the healings and miracles that you say you are, after all these decades there shouldnt be any skeptics. And there would be lessons about it in medical school. Professor “And if all else fails, and even if it doesn’t -send your patients to Pringle in CCC. He’s been flowing in the anointing for years now and it’s just getting stronger. We can’t explain it, but it’s definitely real”. No, there is none of that. Why?

    So the buildings are getting bigger and flashier, the meetings and DVDs are getting more and more professional and hi-tech, and awesome, and better than the world, the Pastors are definitely getting richer and richer. But the people? Healthier?
    And the blessing overflow on the country? Does anyone feel safer in Australia now?

  256. Faithlift,
    Just read your post again about meetings in dirt poor towns where people fell over.
    I don’t deny at all that people fall over – everywhere.
    I don’t deny at all, and have total confidence that you or Pringle could go to just about anywhere and get people falling over, and get them all laughing, or crying, or eve flipping about on the floor like fish. It’s when you say that in the midst of that that there were loads of healings. Who? What of? Can you show me or anyone, any medical records. It really should be easy.

    But no, nobody ever sees that. We just hear about everyone falling over and rejoicing. And we believe that happened. But the healings? Yeah and you raised some dead people too right?

    Do you get what I am saying?

    P.S It’s not that difficult to get people falling over. You should know that by now.

  257. @ Churchman – this is the issue, the proof. How many “miracles’ world wide have been validated? Even the Catholic church has the wisdom to spend a lot of time investigating the so-called miraculous (even though they do have many unbiblical doctrines)!

    I’ve no doubt FL has seen amazing things, especially on missions. We can all talk about God’s “miraculous” (I say providential) dealings in our lives. He is good and His common grace abounds to all men.

    We have personally seen God do an amazing healing in one of our daughter’s pregancies. She never doubted that God would fix the problem – and that very strong faith was a witness to an unbelieving doctor.

    Justin Peters (justinpeters.org) as a sufferer of mild cerebral palsey, has made the investigation into so-called “healings” his ministry. Does he believe God heals today? Yes but his very valid research particularly into Benny Hinn and the WOF Movement is very revealing.

    He says of himself “Some have made the charge against me that I am just bitter about not being healed. I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Next to my salvation, my Cerebral Palsy is one of the greatest gifts God has ever allowed me to have. He has used it to keep me dependent upon Him and through it has shown me His “sufficient grace” and “strength made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)”

    But here is a man witnessing the broken-hearted people walking away not healed from these “healing crusades” – there is not one true validation of a miracle in the last 20 years of Benny Hinn’s ministry.
    And even Benny can’t/won’t produce the evidence because he can’t.

    Justin Peters however can produce evidence of people dying of their affliction within a week of Hinn’s public declaration of their complete healing!

  258. Jesus told us that false prophets and false signs and wonders would characterize the last days. We had signs and wonders to confirm His word in the past and He can do so today if He wishes.

    What’s the acid test for discerning truth from error? The preaching of the gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as our substitutionary atonement. Is that the primary focus of the church today? The primary focus of C3? Or is their primary focus the building up one man’s “vision” (via vision-casting).

    It’s the preaching of the cross that’s narrows down the group or the remnant (“for the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it”.)

    Where’s the denying of self and taking up one’s cross in all the nonsense going on today? Bigger and better building programmes, the only “sacrifice” being increase your own debt to build another man’s “folly” (In architecture, any unusual building that is extravagant or whimsical in style.)

    I’m not against building a church as a church grows in size, it all depends on what’s causing that growth.

    Paul’s answer to the people who don’t want sound doctrine because of their itching ears was to give them the sound doctrine they don’t want to hear!

    Without it, it’s all end-time deception.

  259. Well, I’m glad you got that off your chest, everyone. All I said was that God does miracles today! He also provides. He also heals. He also delivers people. Why are you so afraid of Biblical terminology? I find it better explains our mission to use His words.

    I don’t see the relevance of actually having to get medical proof simply to demonstrate to sceptics that God is on the throne, alive, and is the same Healer and Deliverer he was when Jesus walked the earth. I don;t know if you’ve thought about this, but it is rather hard to get a medical certificate for deliverance, but we have had testimonies of people previously at risk health-wise getting the all-clear medically. We have also seen people we prayed for pass on to be with the Lord. The thing is we don’t stop praying and believing based on results anyway.

    Are you going to deny the miracles and works of Christ because he has no medical evidence to back it up?

    I haven’t made any of the extraordinary claims you attribute to me in those comments, by the way, churchman. I just step out and apply the Word of God. What else would I do?

    I wasn’t calling anyone a Pharisee or anything else, just pointing out that Jesus met the same criticisms in his day, so why would we expect any less.

    Respectfully, Justin Peters, as with anyone called of God, has to minister according to his conscience and call, and I admire his enthusiasm and courage. However, I do find he makes the same errors in his analysis of some ministries as others have before him as he draws on their error to support his, which is sad, because I don’t see a place for calling error error through error. I find it far better to minster the Word as it is, and allow people to discern error for themselves, than to develop a ministry based on putting others down.

    There are a great many people who are in desperate straights through illness, depression, oppression, addiction, abuse, and any number of common ailments, who can be relieved by the power of the Word and Spirit. It opens a door for them to the gospel. It brings liberty to the captives. Jesus commissioned us to reach people through preaching, teaching, healing and deliverance. He has not changed his mind, or his commission.

  260. PP tweets “Beautiful sunshiny weekend for ‘Firstfruits’. There’ll be miracles everywhere!”

    So the gospel will be preached, and the “vision” not cast?

  261. Todd Bentley…….

    Todd Bentley, on his Twitter feed today, is talking up the possibility of a reality TV show on the Discovery channel in the United States.

    He tweets:

    Pray for a awesome opportunity. Discovery channel has approached us on a new Reality series. Let’s take gospel to the world

  262. Newtaste’s comment from Groupsects, ‘How to exploit a Christian college student by using them as your own free PA’:

    I went to one of Kubala’s Believe TV recordings – it was all pretty dodgy. After some worship, he asked for people who had sore backs, sore arms and ringing in the ears etc. He laid hands and prayed for each person, and then clicked his fingers indicating that was when the Holy Spirit was doing the healing. Appropriately, everyone compliantly was ‘slain in the spirit’ and fell backwards to be lowered to the carpet by his assistant. He then asked if they were healed and if they said the ringing was only partly gone or pain was still there he prayed for them again. They pretty much all said they were totally healed.

    Then I put my hand up. I am deaf in my left and have ringing in my right ear. I told Kubala this and he laid hands on my head started praying for me. I could already feel the Holy Spirit in me and continued to feel the Holy Spirit when Kubala prayed. He then clicked his fingers and claimed the healing was happening. I felt no different and told him so. So he prayed for me again, clicked his fingers for the healing to happen (I was believing for healing and could feel the Holy Spirit), I still had the ringing in one ear & still deaf in the other. I stood there and thought there is no way I am going to fake this and pretend i’m healed and fall backwards to floor. With no success he asked me to sit backdown in my chair and pray for myself and that he would come back to me – needless to say he didn’t pray for me again.

    A while later a man puts his hand up – he has ringing in his ears. Kubala says it is his father-in-law. The father-in-law has had the ringing for many years, and there is some joking that Kubala had better get him healed etc. Kubala prays for him, clicking fingers as the spirit works. The f-i-l says it is partially gone. Kubala prays again, ringing is almost gone. Kubala prays a third time, f-i-l falls to the ground all healed! It was similar when the mother-in-law put her hand up for her long-standing bad shoulder – all healed after praying. Kubala seemed totally ignorant of the parents-in-laws medical conditions.

    Kubala and his wife have been married for about seven years, and presumably he would see the parents-in-law on some sort of regular basis. Kubala claims he is a faith healer – and the parents-in-law would know this as his wife is part of his ministry. So why wouldn’t Kubala have asked them years before if they needed prayer for healing. Why wouldn’t they have asked him for healing. Why not pray for them 5 years ago at home? It all seemed like a con job.

    At the side of the C3 auditorium that day were three women in wheel chairs. At no time during the recording did Kubala ask them to wheel over so they could walk back. No, they were only prayed for at the end after the recording when everyone was prayed for, after which they wheeled themselves out.

    As it was ending Kubala drew our attention to the partner envelope on the seats. He said they don’t ask the churches they visit for money and won’t ask for money on the TV show, but asked us to consider partnering with him and donating $50 or $100 a week to his ministry. Needless to say I didn’t give him any money.

    I will never go back to C3 Church after that – that was my one and only visit. And Phil Pringle’s shiny little art gallery where they sell his paintings is just over the top for what is supposed to be part of a church complex.

    http://groupsects.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/how-to-exploit-a-christian-college-student-by-using-them-as-your-own-free-pa/#comment-6519

  263. The working of miracles or gifts of healings associated with stretching limbs, of course, goes back a long way. The Healing Evangelists of the 40’s and 50’s often prayed for limbs to stretch. It was not new to them either.

    The Boswell brothers, before them, used many means to operate the gifts during their huge healing rallies, as did Lake. They were more likely the man influences on Word of Faith teaching of people like Hagin, by the way, not Kenyon, although Hagin clearly read Kenyon on some subjects.

    The healing ministry, though, has been passed down. Jesus commanded a man withered hand to stretch forth his hand.

    In the following You Tube from a meeting in 1974, Kenneth Hagin is prompted by the Holy Ghost to minister to some people during a meeting. He calls for a doctor to witness the healings. I like the gentlemanly and caring way in which he ministers.

  264. Lengthening of legs is an embarasment. Really. Don’t think I’ve ever once seen a case when limbs haven’t been able to be lengthened – except of course when they are REALLY very different in length.
    Yes..I have been there when dozens of people who “didn’t even know” that there limbs were different lengths got the miracle of their lives – only while Brother Tom with the OBVIOUSLY short right arm was the only person in the room who didn’t get a miracle – even though he was the one who would have been most appreciative. I wish we would stop playing “silly buggers”.
    (sorry for that expression, but it really sums up what goes on).

  265. It’s not an embarrassment for the person being healed.

    I don’t know how anyone can allow their own scepticism or unbelief interfere with another person’s desire for relief. I’ve seen people healed this way who are forever grateful to God for saving them from the agony of twisted backs. The still give testimony to his grace.

    We had a testimony night recently, and most people had to share around the tissues as they heard the stories of God’s wonderful grace bringing relieve and providence to their lives, including having limbs stretched, backs straightened, and deportment altered.

    I take it, churchman, that you’ve never had a serious back injury. It can be one of the most painful and restricting things to happen to anyone. I would personally allow myself to be totally embarrassed if it meant someone was genuinely healed of a painful back ailment, whether it was minor or major.

    And we don’t assess the validity of a ministry by those who do not get healed, but by those who do. I agree that not everyone gets healed. But we don;t stop trying because some don’t. We keep coming back until they do. This isn’t like a fast-food outlet, where everything is instant. We work with people until they have faith to connect with God’s grace. Even Jesus had to do this in his own home town. EWhy would we expect greater results?

    In fact, anyone who has had a back injury knows that even a minor problem can be extremely painful and debilitating. Jesus didn’t heal people because it was embarrassing, but because he had compassion on them.

  266. Pringle tweeted:

  267. Pingback: music
  268. WOW, This is a really old post – but I couldn’t let this go.

    “I take it, churchman, that you’ve never had a serious back injury. It can be one of the most painful and restricting things to happen to anyone.I would personally allow myself to be totally embarrassed if it meant someone was genuinely healed of a painful back ailment, “whether it was minor or major.”

    You’ve missed my whole point. Yeah, I have no problem with embarrassment if someone gets healed. I’m totally with you there.

    I’m saying leg lengthening in charismatic churches is an embarrassment. Come on….I’ve been in meetings where several people have supposedly had legs grow an inch or two of three. And even grow two inches, the preacher said “no that’s too much, go back” and every laughs. It’s just not happening. And in spite of the fact that such incredible miracles are happening left right and center so easily, the people with all kinds of ailments aren’t healed.

    And the ones who had their legs lengthened? They have sore backs next week too.

    If someone is genuinely healed, shout it from the rooftops. But if they aren’t, don’t play around and say that are.

    Truth is not such a silly idea.

  269. “I agree that not everyone gets healed. But we don;t stop trying because some don’t. ”

    Agreed. Not everyone gets healed when they go to the doctor.

    But the doctor doesn’t tell everyone that he just healed someone if they haven’t changed.

    So, sure – don’t stop trying. But don’t say people are healed when they aren’t. It’s simple.

  270. I’d love to hear from all the people that claim to be healed – this guy is a fake… your pain comes back doesn’t it! you think your healed because you onstage in front of 100′s of people…

    Not a good example of the church
    (shame on you phil pringle… make’s you look bad.. wonder why your church isn’t growing??)

    I heard all the people from his 1st attempt of his TV show BELIEVE (pilot)… didn’t get healed.. and didn’t want anything further to do with the Kubula’s!! don’t waste your time or money on this guy!!

    ANDREW KUBALA IS A FAKE!

    I believe the producers from the 1st pilot series, did not want to continue working with the Kubula’s as the show had no merit and as their was NO truth in the healing stories!! it’s just smoke and mirrors people… the Kubula’s are dangerous and money hungry!

  271. If their name starts with the title letters Ps, that should be warning enough – nasty little Nicolaitans and their money grubbing ways – beware of ANYONE who makes money from words. Is it any surprise that if Satan may appear as a messenger of light, that his servants appear as ministers of righteousness? (Paul was of course talking about the Pharisees and unfortunately that Pharisaic spirit was there from the foundation of what would become the Catholic Church. I read a beg letter from a Lubavitcher recently – I think I know where the Circe learned its craft from….

  272. Paul and Mary too? When Jesus said to Peter, “Get out of my face adversary (satan) for you savor NOT of the things of God, but of the things of Man. The power of satan is the soul or things of man. Jesus also said that He chose the 12 yet one was a devil, who would of course be replaced by a murdering money worshiping Pharisee of the Pharisees named Saul. And of course then there was the satan to complete the ensemble.

    Now don’t go getting all religious on me over this one – God chooses the foolish things to confound the wise and the foolishness of preaching. Both God AND Paul had to correct Peter, and Paul grappled with the thorn of his Jewish past. We tend to eulogize them when they were men of like passions as we – they were just men – though their reward is great in heaven and the 24 old and new testament Jewish patriarchs have a special place with God, irrespective of what they may have done wrong – gee, they even sold their own brother Joseph!

    The Catholic Church was more started by Peter’s three lieutenants who he passed the baton to – particularly Clement, but just like he had the disciples draw lots for someone to replace Judas, he pretty much missed it on this wise, as Clement apparently started the clergy, aka Nicolaitans, about the same time Jesus told John that He hated their ways.

    But has it ever occurred to you that the very reason things proceeded as they did was that we would eventually come to the situation where the Lord would come again and complete or finish our redemption? I mean the devil pretty much took over the Church in 1033 when Benedict the 9th, the first flagrantly homosexual Pope, began to have homosexual orgies in the Vatican.

    Protestants and other branches of the family tree of Christianity like to think that they are not Catholic – sorry – you all are – the whole lot. Catholic simply means Universal. Ask a Jew what they think, to them all Xians are of the same crazy family who were deluded by that rebel Paul. They say he loved money and fame so much he started his own religion on the back of a prophet who went crazy and thought he was God.

    Every Christian is basically Catholic in the broader sense – which is why ecumenism is growing in favor and force and will eventually see a world religion.

    Did you hear the one about the Jew, the Muslim and the Christian who are going to climb Everest and pray for world peace? Yeah, I thought that it sounded like a joke too…and World Vision are sponsoring the event. Go figure.

    Its all Babylon Bones – all Babylon. God took me up in the tower – He showed me how it is all the same thing, from Catholicism right through to the final level, the Hebrews Roots Movement. But they will never finish it…

    The Church as we know it is NOT the kingdom on earth, it is part of the counterfeit kingdom of the Crown – but not for much longer. The remnant is what gives it life while those who are dead yet alive fill its seminaries. But God still gets the business done – go figure. But He will remove that which prevents such that the son of perdition, the man of sin, may be revealed, and He shall draw Leviathan out with a hook and the nations to battle before that great and wonderful day of the Lord.

  273. Kubala is a known fraud. His ‘speciality’, the leg lengthening he does every meeting is a proven hoax. Derren Brown explains one method quite well, but there’s at least 5 different ways to do that trick. I don’t appreciate his deliberate misleading either about how he often conveniently neglects to mention that it was actually a bone marrow transplant that cured his Leukemia. Lucky he had faith in science as well! The reason why this is all ridiculous though is the question of what exactly defines a healing? Could a someone be ‘healed’ of baldness? Could a transsexual be ‘healed’ of being the wrong gender? Could one be healed of grey hair? Old Age? Ugliness? How do you explain non-Christians being healed of cancer by chemo? Is chemo worthy of our worship where they can cure cancer and God refuses to? You could argue that God gives us chemotherapy, but be honest with yourself for one second – that is a cop out and just makes God sound like the most cruel, sadistic overlord for not giving us more treatments for other diseases. You see, when you understand biology and how the world works, you know how relative and undefined these things are and how ridiculous any miraculous ‘healing’ is because it can’t be defined as ‘healed’ or ‘not healed’. The fact is that there are varying degrees of health in everything. Healed of scoliosis eh? Well is the spine PERFECTLY straight? Oh so it’s not perfectly straight even after the healing? So did God really properly heal you? Is God now competing with Chiropracters now? See how ridiculous this is sounding? But it gets worse. Can God heal someone with a 6th finger? It’s clearly a defect, but wait, it could actualy confer an advantage in life! Can God heal other animals? He can because He’s God, but wait, where does the animal’s faith reside? Could I bring my pet spider who has lost a leg to Kubala’s show? What about the two-headed American teenage girl? The fact that she’s famous now means God CAN’T heal her now because it would prove to everyone His existence and then we wouldn’t need faith at all. See the paradox? God is pretty unfair to only heal the superficial stuff, that’s not the kind of God I’d follow, nor the all-powerful one mentioned in the Bible. You could try to answer these questions, but there would be no consensus as some of them would create a paradox. Why do you think that the testimony of follow-ups to these physical healings ALWAYS proves that the person was never really healed? Prove to me one example otherwise. The real miracle is the brain being able to fool itself. I’ve waffled enough, so allow me to conclude with what the Bible TRULY says. If you want a scripture to really noodle the professional ‘faith’ healers, the Bible clearly states in both OT and New that you “Do NOT put the Lord your God to the test” and that is exactly what Kubala is doing in that if God doesn’t show up as Kubala commands, he won’t receive his paycheck. God is not mocked, Kubala will reap what he sows, but for Christians who are commanded NOT TO LIE, it’s about time they started being brutally honest with themselves and stop lying to themselves in the guise of not having enough ‘faith’. There’s faith and there’s gullibility.

  274. Chris – I hear you – BUT there are real miracles – they mostly are kept quiet. I have been privileged, and I say it with great reverence and fear, to have been involved in some rel, bona fide miracles, and I have also had the benefits of medical science when the time and circumstance was such that when I prayed, that is the course I was instructed to follow in that instance.

    Either way, healing is from God, as all that is good comes from the foundation of good. In Christchurch. New Zealand, about 11yrs ago, probably the most profound reconstructive miracle I have ever heard of since Lazarus was raised from the grave after 4 days repose happened in the Public Hospital.

    For reasons best known to God, He “killed” the story and hid the man – when I asked why this one was spared, even put back together miraculously from his DNA, I heard that it was the faith of his mother and wife which mandated God’s intercessors to act, and that this was an especial circumstance as this young man was a type and of what God was going to do with the Body of Christ in the earth, how that the remnant looked like road-kill on the highway of Life the highway to holiness) and that when it came time to raise up His Body, He would, from its “DNA”. Christ is the DNA of God.

  275. So you’re saying that a preson was raised from the dead in a poublic hospital in NZ? Name of person – and hospital please

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