Signs & Wonders – following on!


Romans  15  v 18 – 20: For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation  (ESV)

Every time in Scripture – we see that where there are signs & wonders there is always the preaching of the Gospel – the good news of Christ…. always first & the signs & wonders CONFIRM it…

signs  are just that —  Signs-  they point the way…  they are not the “thing”  how silly would it be to accomplish a 25 mile walk to a designated spot – get to the first road sign that lists it – have your picture taken there & say  thats it we have made it just to turn around & return home…  missing out on the actual objective of reaching the destination- the objective  in favour of  something second best.. That is what I believe is going on in the river  movement .  People are being denied the chance to really come to know Jesus  in favour of a quick “power encounter”  –  we would be crazy to think that praying for someone on the street & seeing a miraculous healing of the body take place “is it” —  ( it is wonderful when people get healed Im not denying ) but  in effect we teach people to get & grab from God anything they desire but not  start the comittment of long journeying of processing -change through salvation in Jesus…  whats more – the message being promoted is (maybe inadvertantly) that this isnt even necessary..

but what good is  a healed body if the person isnt accepting of Christ- & will spend eternity without him…   we sell them short if we give one thing of God but deny them the chance of   the “real thing”  —  Jesus

on that final day – when many stand before the king of kings & explain that they had a “touch”  or a healing or an amazing encounter – will it be enough?   No the scriptures teach that it will not…

in the above passage – paul is teaching that any powerful Signs & wonders “complete” the ministry…  his first priority & ambition is to preach the Gospel…  he does not dare brag about his exploits in the spirit….   – he is careful about his words & his actions,

so signs & wonders here are definitely not the main objective..   signs & wonders without the mention of the Gospel confirm nothing except themselves… the focus then becomes on these powerful displays. In effect a Signs & wonders culture is created deviod of Christ…

We must come to realise though if we are not following through on NT priorities of getting Jesus known for what he has accomplished on the cross…  if that message can be successfully overlooked  by anything that seems amazing or showy – the devil can & does use this tactic to lead everyone in the mix of that astray….  full blown this will look like a signs & wonders cult

The cross, our Jesus the redeemer of our sins – the Gospel  is central to everything we believe as Christians..  if we keep that uppermost  in all of our ways, rooted & grounded in the words of truth…  we will get the balance right  before him…   once we decentralize Christ..  we make room for an imposter…

which is why 2 Thessalonians 2 v 9 -11 says:  The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false   (ESV)

where are we at???

Going Off the Map!


In this River Movement, as we have seen  – literally anything goes…  in order to justify this; playing down & removing any need for biblical discernment & along with those who who are well endowed in that gifting.   We see clearly, the teaching from BJ that endorses this whole mindset- He writes in When Heaven Invades Earth the following:

Those who feel safe because of their intellectual grasp of Scriptures enjoy a false sense of security. None of us has a full grasp of Scripture, but we all have the Holy Spirit. He is our common denominator who will always lead us into truth. But to follow Him, we must be willing to follow off the map—to go beyond what we know. (Johnson: pg 76)  

&

 But in reality, the Bible is a closed book. Anything I get from the Word without God will not change my life. It is closed to insure that I remain dependent on the Holy Spirit. (Johnson: pg 93  )

of course we will weight this against the actual scriptures which say:

Deuteronomy 2 v 12 :  Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.  (ESV)

1 corinthians 4 v 4  Apostle Paul writes

And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.  (KJV)

clearly  we see here Paul teaches the early church-  not to go with the teachings of men – but to ground, weigh, test everything against the scriptures..

In effect, any of us can indeed make the Holy Spirit say – anything–  with which ever twist & slant & bias  we could wish to accentuate it with..  Paul is saying that scripture is the final authority..  the yardstick…by which we must do the measuring of our own lives, our attitudes & beliefs as well as any teachings we are being asked to “buy into”     –   Our study of the word then is exceptionally important – as if we do not know what it says – we will not be able to live it out, test out or even have faith in our hearts for what is true..   we have no built in “yardstick” if we don’ t actively build it in….

Anyone who now teaches that this is not the case  is deluded & is actively leading others down that same delusional, deceptive path..  there is an implication here from the page 93 quote that the WORD & the SPIRIT are separate…    this is not quite the case as the Holy Spirit will always honour the word  – the living word of course being described in John 1 as Jesus himself..      –  the trinity father, son & spirit  – are in total relationship with each other – at no point will we ever find contradiction or confusion between them –  we cannot therefore, have the word without the Holy spirit  or indeed the Holy Spirit without the word… –  there is complete mutual submission between all  & the “Godhead”  will never go against his word – He is perfect in every way…

John 16  v 8 – 15   Jesus talks about the promise of the Holy spirit coming & the purposes of that:

 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when He,the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

we see from the passage:

The Holy Spirit comes to

  • convict us of sin –   (principles of which contained in the word)
  • to promote right standing with God (through repentance    (defined through the word & actioned through the promotion of Christ’s saving grace)
  • helps us to  identify & recognise deception  through discernment & helps us practically to overcome evil/oppression in the world  (deception & evil being defined by the word)
  • speak God’s words  – he himself does not  “go off the map”  (always matches up with scripture under New Covenant principles)
  • Glorify Jesus  – above everything ( doesnt seek any glory or praise for himself)
  • reveal that which is of God & make it known to our hearts… ( is prophetic – a counsellor- but always in submission to the above points)

When we see some leaders presenting the Holy Spirit differently  in contradiction to this overview  – it has to be time to ask some serious questions…  about whether it is the Holy Spirit  or a deceptive False demonic spirit acting as an imposter…

furthermore – if there is accusation of being “too religious”  or having a “religious spirit” for demonstrating sincere weighing of experiences & expressing caution before accepting anything that is promoted as of the Spirit of God  – that when tested is left wanting in light of the scriptures – this is a huge red flag  & a “check” in the spirit  that things have indeed   “gone off the map”

 

further reading:        http://www.echozoe.com/archives/2519

 

Psalm 12


We have to remember that our great God is outside of time   so that which was written 100 yrs BC  he knew would be relevant on the sharp edge & applicable to our day.. He knew BC  that we would have the NAR  & the “River” the Lakeland Outpouring Bethel Redding  & everything else.   Outside of time He has written & said this to us:

Psalm 12    (HCSB)

Help, Lord, for no faithful one remains;
the loyal have disappeared from the human race.
 They lie to one another;
they speak with flattering lips and deceptive hearts.
 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips
and the tongue that speaks boastfully.
 They say, “Through our tongues we have power;
our lips are our own—who can be our master?”

 “Because of the oppression of the afflicted
and the groaning of the poor,
I will now rise up,” says the Lord.
“I will put the one who longs for it in a safe place.”

 The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in an earthen furnace,
purified seven times.

 You, Lord, will guard us;
You will protect us from this generation forever.
 The wicked wander everywhere,
and what is worthless is exalted by the human race.

 Be encouraged dear friends – HE  is sovereign

The House Of Generals


Bethel’s Apostolic Research Centre…

 

http://mandate.ibethel.org/#takeAction

 

BJ explains that it will be a library/museum for the artefacts of signs & wonders….      this in & of itself indicates that Bethel has now shifted so far now from being the true church to admin centre of  signs & wonders worship….  in short it’s “cultic idolatry”