Together on a Mission - Day 3 - Training Track 2.
After the experience of the first Training Track with Rob Rufus, we came highly expectant! Once again Terry Virgo was there (to my great relief) and he opened with prayer and singing another 'golden-oldie', the chorus; "Oh I love you Lord, really love You Lord!". Although newer Christians such as Scott didn't know them obviously it was quite like being in heaven for me! A reminder of the wonderful biblical songs of the Charismatic Movement! After that moment of worship, Terry again introduced Rob.
He got us to turn to Habbakuk 3. Once again his message was not quite so well ordered as Grudem, so here again is a transcript of my notes.
"It is dangerous to blur the well-defined aspects of the Kingdom but there are other aspects God deliberately allows to be blurred. The more you step out in the supernatural, the more you have to walk with God. We are not to look back and live in some triumphalistic euphoria about the past. For example, we are not to 1. Desire to go back to the days of Kathryn Kuhlman or Smith Wigglesworth but we are to desire to go forward to greater works! And 2. We are not to look back with disgust at the mistakes they made but to bless and honour the past.
We must raise the significance of the laying on of hands. What about the issue of faith however? Faith is like Vitamin C - you can't store it in your body so you need a regular diet of it. Wimber and Kuhlman both taught on a dynamic view of the gifts of the Spirit. That the dancing hands of God come on you for a time and for a purpose. Some people are healed by a sovereign act of God whereas others are indeed healed by their faith. Sometimes you don't lay hands on a person until you see the faith in their eyes.
Religious tradition can sometimes nullify the Word of God. Faith is based on God's willingness rather than a knowledge of God's ability. F F Bosworth worked with the notable healer William Branham for a while. Bosworth actually got more people healed than Branham just by teaching the simple truths of God. People with supernatural gifts can no longer hide behind them and use them as an excuse for lazy theology. Scholars can no longer use their theology as an excuse not to move in the power of the Spirit.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Without faith, hope has no substance at all. Our danger is to lower the Word of God to our experience and to develop a theology to match our experience.
Don't ask for the laying on of hands lightly! (Hebrews 6) It is equal to the doctrine of baptisms. (Hab 3:4). "Rays flashed from His hands". (Acts 8:17) "Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit". Philip had arrived in Samaria accompanied by signs and wonders to preach the Gospel. When the apostles arrived they did not begin by preaching and adding a foundation to what Philip had taught, but they began by adding to the supernatural through the laying on of hands for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (v18) Simon the sorcerer evidently saw something tangible imparted because why else would he have offered them money for this power? A witch doctor will not be impressed with hands laid on and nothing happening! It is said that John G Lake left an imprint of his hand burnt into the arm of a man healed of a sore!
This may not be the norm but we must raise our measure of faith. We all have the Spirit without measure but what measures our wealth - is how much we give away. There is no formula! No checklist. The Spirit is able to heal of bitterness, of cancer. We must develop faith so that when we lay hands on people, we expect to give power to them. Things happen when we lay hands on people! We never ask or hear Jesus pleading with the Father or even asking the Father to heal people. He simply commands sickness to go.
Laying hands is one of the basic levels of the supernatural. But if we don't get it right, all else will not fall into place. Other levels of the supernatural we must expect to grow in.
1. Impartation of the supernatural life. We become supercharged with the power of God. It is like a divine defibrillator!
2. Impartatation of a spiritual gift that makes us strong.
3. Vision comes - you can see things happening! Revelations of God's plans and purposes for your life. Inward visions can be just as powerful as outward manifestations. You SEE something. Trances are not just of the New Age. We are so quick to pick up on everything as demonic. The demonic is the counterfeit of the real! The demonic is easy to spot. It is messy and loud. The glory of God will edify and pick up.
4. Healing - both physical and emotional. (Acts 10:10).
5. Darkness is removed. Demonic driven out and great peace comes. No individual has a deliverance ministry. All believers can and should drive out demons. It should be a normal way of life.
6. Visitations of Jesus - closeness and intimacy.
7. Comission and Calling. God first calls you and then prepares you. Then commissions or activates you. An elder cannot properly function unless an apostle has laid hands on them.
8. Conferring blessings. Never use your hands to smack a child. Hands are for conferring blessings.
9. Ordaining leaders.
10. An impartation of rest.
11. The Personality of the Holy Spirit rubs off on you.
Rob then got us all to stand and compared to the Training Track the day before, it was a far quieter more intimate time. The manifestations were less. What he was aiming to do was to remind us that the Spirit points to the Lord Jesus. So it was amazing when we spontaenously moved into a time of worshipping the Lord. Song after song just poured out - as expressions of love and devotion to Jesus Christ.