JESUS & Wonders
Though I personally have no thought of doing away with or ignoring the gifts of the Holy Spirit, there is a proper priority level, place, and usage for them as Paul tells us by the insertion of the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians where he speaks of "a more excellent way." (1 Cor. 12:31) In this bridge verse between the 12th and 13th chapters of 1 Corinthians, the apostle says "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way." (1 Cor. 12:31) The Holy Spirit then begins to teach us what charity is and that without it we are nothing.
We should desire the best gifts and to see them in their proper place and not made the total focus. For 2 decades now I have witnessed some ministries operating in the church world, overemphasize less important things like visions and revelations, prophecies, gifts, and signs, etc. and it deeply concerns me for Christ's body sake.
Personally I was misled to be caught up in that same mind frame of some coming glorious move of God, which never came and perhaps never will. Should we be focused on such, or rather on the Person of Jesus Christ and His soon return? Isn't He returning for those who are "looking for Him?" (Heb. 9:28) Isn't the focus to be watching, prayer and overcoming sin? (Matt. Lk.12:35-40; 21:34-36, 1 Jn. 3:3 etc.) Where did He tell us to set our “affection”? On things “above” right and “not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:1-4) Didn’t Paul press toward the “mark” of knowing Jesus more in “the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings?” (Phil. 3:10-14) The whole focus of Revelation 2 and 3, when Jesus addresses the 7 churches of Asia is worshipping Jesus as an overcomer, right?
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4
As a young believer, I don't remember many people taking me aside to show me the divine truth that the most important thing is knowing Jesus and walking in His love and truth (Jn. 17:3,17:17; 1 Cor. 13. etc.). No, instead there was the constant emphasis upon gifts, signs, utterances, supposed wonders, and miracles, etc. And wow, hang around and you will find out real quick that I believe that God gives and operates gifts and does miracles often and will pray in faith on the spot for whatever is needed! Yet, without the more important truth of knowing Him deeper daily and living in His love, all those gifts are in vain right? Remember Matthew 7:21-23?
“Emphasis on the gifts is preached more than the actual HOW TO know Jesus intimately and live a holy life….we are administered tests to see what gift(s) we have…we all get excited about them (more than knowing Christ), yet very seldom are we told that He takes them away from those who don’t walk in His way, etc., and will eternally punish those who have them and leave the earth out of fellowship with Him.” Becky Purcell
Didn’t our LORD tell His disciples not to rejoice over the supernatural power of God, but rather “because your names are written in heaven?”
“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven (and i see the same pride in you that was in him). Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20
My attempt here is to search the Scriptures, meditate upon, and uncover what the Holy Ghost is saying to our hearts through His Words. Help me please so that we remain rooted in Christ, and not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, and able to help others in the same. "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel." (Colossians 1:23)
Is it not is luciferic to seek after power instead of God Himself? (Is. 14:12-15, Lk 10:17-20) The LORD will grant power to those who obey and whom He has given the full measure of His Spirit to (Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:8). In Luke 10:17-20 we see the disciples glorying in the power to cast out devils in the name of Jesus and Christ then rebukes them, referring and associating their spirit with the same pride He saw in Satan before he was cast out of Heaven.
Holy Father, we beg You to cleanse our hearts with the blood of Christ and by the washing of Your glorious Word.
In Ephesians 5, we see that the "glorious church" He will return for is "without spot", because He is cleansing her with “the washing of water by the word.” We see no mention of her having all kinds of physical manifestations in their midst (Eph. 5). The Holy Spirit could have pointed out anything He so desired here to identify the state of His Church when Jesus returns, and He chose holiness, the landmark characteristic of the true remnant. Weren't the Corinthian believers moving in all the gifts and yet at the end of 2 Corinthians He warns them to "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Cor. 13:5) Scary huh? And of course, many will say to Him in that day "have we not prophesied in thy name" and He will tell them to "depart" - "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:23) Then in Matthew 7, from verses 24 to verse 29, Jesus proceeds to speak of building ones house upon obedience to His Word, otherwise eternal destruction will be the result.
“The church world and it's constituents seem to emphasize the "wonders" more than the "Wonderful One". I believe now also that we need to let them (others we come into contact with, the new believers) know that the best thing to be concentrating on in our lives is the One and Only true Living God, and what He means to us and how we are to live our lives day to day in earnestly seeking Him and knowing Him and not wishing to SEE what He can do for us, but rather see what we can do to be closer to Him.” Becky Purcell
In the New Testament Scriptures, do we see the emphasis upon Jesus, Head of His Church, or power and signs and wonders? My point is that there is far too much emphasis (by certain ministries) being placed upon some supposed glorious manifestations, signs, wonders, subjective prophecies, etc. The last time there was a supposed revival, people were barking and howling like animals and totally out of control. This wasn't God at all, it was Satan's workings - the lying signs and wonders. While speaking specifically about the coming of Christ and the preceding "falling away", listen to what the Holy Spirit says: "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Is this undue emphasis upon spiritual phenomena not drawing the affections of God's people away from loving Christ, the nail-scarred risen Savior? What these deceivers are doing is paving the way for the next false revival, by continually forecasting some coming glory and supposed move of God. When it arrives, those who bought into this lie will be deceived by it because they loved not the truth (2 Thess. 2 3-12).
Is this undue emphasis upon spiritual phenomena not drawing the affections of God's people away from loving Christ, the nail-scarred risen Savior? Paul, a real apostle of Jesus, brooded jealously over the Church of Jesus Christ, and told us that deceivers "beguile" by "not holding (elevating & exalting) the Head", Jesus Christ, but rather they intercept the affections of God's people, diverting them to something (anything) other than the very Person of the LORD Jesus Christ (Col. 2:4,8,18-19). The enemy has many diversionary tactics in his arsenal and few are more subtle a test then this one. The use of supposed moves of God (subjective, Asuza, Brownsville, Toronto, etc.) from the past and the expectation for a coming “glory” seems to me to be an incredibly subtle method of what we are warned about in Colossians 2. Paul "determined" to exalt the living Word, Jesus Christ, and nothing else (1 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 6:14). Is it not our highest privilege to know Him and rejoice that we know Him and have our names written in Heaven? (Jer. 9:23-24; Lk. 10:20)
Never forget that the chief purpose of the Holy Scriptures is to reveal and exalt the One who made all things then came and shed His very own blood for those He made in His holy image. Jesus Christ is the eternal and living Word of the Father. See Jn 1:4,10,17,17:3; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2-3, 11:3. Rev. 1:8, etc. Any and all leaders who do not unceasingly point you to the Person of Jesus Christ through His eternal truth, are misleading you into the ditch of eternal damnation.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power…Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” Colossians 2:8-10,18-19
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JESUS & Wonders
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