I've just come back from an extremely interesting night shift where I was privilidged to work with a lovely South African nurse. As is common with nights we got chatting quite deeply around 4am and I was interested to learn something of the culture in South Africa - particularly in relation to religion. Although she was an atheist, she told me quite a lot about the culture of witchcraft down there. I was fascinated in her story - particularly as she wasn't a Christian - but deeply believed in the presence of supernatural power.
She told me that witch-doctors in South Africa have the power to kill, drive insane and injure anyone who offends them or upsets them. I learnt that all they need is a footprint of the person they are targeting and that is enough to use in their magic. She told me that a number of witch-doctors can take tyre prints off the tracks of cars and they have the ability to cause those cars to crash or have their brakes fail. The point is - this power is real and it is tangible.
What occured to me was how would John MacArthur's dispensational cessationism fit in down in that sort of culture? How would that lovely South African nurse have reacted if I had told her that there were only three periods of miracles in the whole of history and that has ceased now that the Word of God is complete and supernatural power does not and cannot occur unless it is a freak sovereign initiative of God? I am pretty sure she would have laughed at me - as she has direct contact with people who have fallen foul of the witch-doctors. I asked her whether the witch-doctors ever did anything "good" with their magical abilities and she told me virtually never. It is always designed to harm or worse.
My point is this. Counterfeit power is real and present in cultures outside of the West. Why would Satan bother to counterfeit spiritual power if true and God-glorifying power does not exist today? Why would Paul warn his readers that false apostles and prophets and miracle-workers will rise up in the last days and we are to "test all things" to prove whether they are of God - why would he warn that if there was no geninue apostles and prophets and miracle-workers? If the only supernatural power that is present in the world (as MacArthur suggests) is false, Satanic and of the flesh then there is no testing required! It is all false.
Surely the only possible option is that there is indeed true supernatural power and anointing present in the world today and MacArthur is incorrect. Surely if Satan is busy influencing the witch-doctors in Africa and South America with counterfeit spiritual power then he knows that God is more than capable and willing to anoint His Church to walk in true, good, God-glorifying spiritual power that will indeed cause terrorist suicide bombers to fall down on their knees and be turned from haters to lovers!
It bothers me, irritates me and angers me that the only spiritual power that this South African nurse knew of was evil power manifest by these witch doctors. I wish she had been at Brighton when Rob Rufus was ministering! I wish she knew of men like William Branham who could discern names, addresses and diagnoses with his gift of knowledge. I wish that there was a corporate spiritual anointing and power upon the Church that would cause these witch-doctors (like Simon the sorcerer) to come and say "Let me give you money for that power!".
Wake up Church! Satan has had the monopoly on spiritual power long enough!
Let me urge you again to go and read Peter's excellent blog; "Filling the Vacuum". There is indeed a vacuum to be filled and the world is crying out for a true, genuine spiritual power and anointing to come and prove that the Gospel and the Word of God is true! Not Words alone - but POWER!