Friday, March 07, 2008

"Only GOD Should Have That Kind of Power"?!

Two events prompted this blog and even now I am not quite sure how it is going to turn out. I've just returned from the cinema with Scottie having absolutely LOVED seeing the film "Jumper" for the 2nd time. The first time I was taken aback with the absolute speed and thrill of the film. This evening I was shaking under the power of God seeing the thrilling (and disturbing) paralells between what happened in the film and in the Christian life today. But I am jumping ahead of myself. Before I explain what happened in the film briefly (for those who haven't seen it) while I was transcribing Rob Rufus's latest sermon; "Invading the Impossible - Part 8" - he made this very prophetic statement;

"If the Holy Spirit is not allowed to have control of the church, then man takes control of the church and the biggest leverage man has to control the church is the law - legalism - controls people to behave by putting rules and regulations and then kicking them out and punishing them if they don't line up with the taboos and laws and rules".

So "Jumper" (terminology here). Essentially there are normal people, there are "Jumpers" (Hayden Christenson) and there are "Paladin" (Samuel L Jackson). "Jumpers" can teleport anywhere in the world that they have either been before or seen a photo of. "Paladin" are (in the words of Jumper Jamie Bell) "religious nutters whose one sole purpose ... kill Jumpers". But what grabbed my attention was something Samuel L Jackson's character said during the film when he had Hayden Christenson captured. He said;

"Only GOD should have this power!".

Scottie and I were discussing what exactly would happen and how certain Christians groups would react if God pours out His Spirit in power on the earth and we do indeed see a resurgence of signs, wonders and miracles in the earth - as many of us are hoping for and praying for - rooted in the absolute grace of God. No ... panic not, I don't think God is going to enable Christians to begin to teleport ... although of course there is Acts 8:39 and Ezekiel 3:14 ...

But what is our expectation for signs, wonders and miracles? How high have we set the barrier of expectation? For as Julian Adams said; "Our expectation is God's invitation". I found some of the signs, wonders and miracles in the Bible. And as I read them, I kept hearing Samuel L Jackson in my mind; "Only God should have this power". Oh really?! Then why did GOD use PEOPLE to do what He did in the Word of God? As you read these miracles - ask yourself whether you can consider a future where you - the Church founded and basking in the grace of God

1. The miracle increasing of food - 1 Kings 17:9-16

2. The miracle raising of the dead - 1 Kings 17:17-24, 2 Kings 4:18-37, Matthew 9:18, 19, 23-26, Mark 5:22-24, 35-43; 49-56, John 11:1-46, Acts 9:40

3. The miracle coming of rain to barren wastelands - 1 Kings 18:41-45

4. The miracle healing of the sick from fatal diseases (AIDS, Cancer) - 2 Kings 5:1-19

5. The miracle blinding of an evil army and the restoration of their sight - 2 Kings 6:18

6. The miracle raising of dead when they touch our bones - 2 Kings 13:21

7. The miracle healing of "All" who come - Matthew 4:24, Mark 6:56, Luke 4:40

8. The miracle delivering of demons - Mark 1:21-27; Luke 4:33-36

9. The miracle restoring of withered limbs - Matthew 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-5; Luke 6:6-11

10. The miracle defying of nature's laws - Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21, John 2:1-11, Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21, Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14, 20-25, Luke 5:1-11

11. The miracle feeding of the hungry - Matthew 14:1-21; Mark 6:35-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:5-15

12. The miracle escaping from prisons - Acts 5:19-23

13. The miracle transference of power via objects - Acts 19:11-12; 28:8, 9

How much of these examples from the Word of God are we seeing already? There's so much more that we should be expecting! As Rob Rufus's word made clear - should we really be so shocked at gold dust or at oil on hands? We are operating at a Level 2 anointing but we need to be saturating ourselves in the grace of God to see any more! As Rob said;

"The question is not will Jesus Christ have a glorious Church - the question is who will He use?".

Anyone want to join me in "jumping" - even if the "Paladins" will do their utmost to ensure that no human being operates in any spiritual power whatsoever and Christianity stays safely an academic, philosphical religion? Frankly - I am ready to take the risk!


sgm pastors wife (Diane) said...

Phewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww ....... WHAT a post! Got me all a' tinglin'!! There's loads to think about there and to be honest my faith went into melt down when I read the list of Bible miracles that - yes - why aren't we considering?!!? My church goes nuts if we get a "prophetic song"!! LOL!!

Peter Day said...

I'm joining! This is the power that God intended His church to have, that Jesus died so that we could move in. He promised we would know greater works. We must not hold back.

lydia joy said...

I'm ready too!!

Frank Turl said...

Sign me up!! Wow oh wow!! Sign me up!! I am desperate for the power! I am desperate to be willing!

Anonymous said...

Pastor John Macarthur is clear - these miracles that you have brought together are SIGNS pointing to the closed canon of Scripture. They are not going to happen today so you are wasting your time expecting them! Far better to devote your time to contemplating Calvary.

jul said...

Hmmm, if the canon of Scripture is truly closed anonymous, perhaps you shouldn't be revering Mr. Macarthur above the Scripture...just a thought.

Now I have to go see that movie! Feels like God is almost bombarding us with the reality of what he wants to do, and we'd have to be complete idiots not to see it! He doesn't want any of his children to miss out and he's going to great lengths to help us open our spiritual eyes and ears so that we can be prepared and anticipating with great faith the end time harvest. Anyone who will not acknowledge that such a harvest will need supernaturally empowered people to accomplish it must be either insane or think far too highly of their fleshly abilities...

Anonymous said...

And furthermore I am guessing that you are taking a side-swipe at Sovereign Grace Ministries for being "Paladins".

Dan Bowen said...

Well Angry Anonymous I would agree with you that the miracles I listed from the Word of God ARE signs - but I can't see any reason for your cessationist declaration that such signs can't STILL point to the One Living God!!

And no I wasn't taking a swipe at anyone by mentioning "Paladins". Religious Pharisees have always martyred threats throughout church history. Let's not forget that Jesus Christ Himself was put to death by the Jews - the people of God! But if the cap fits ...

Frank Turl said...

Cessationism is surely EXACTLY the Paladins! It all totally fits! They are only happy for God and God alone to have this power - but not only that they want indeed demand Him to keep that power in heaven! "Only God should have this power". Yes - cessationists such as this anonymous bloke would never ever want to see willing vessels used by God to spread the glory across world.

Dan Bowen said...

I have to say this, because I have just been typing up Rob's sermon; "Invading the Impossible - Part 8" - that the HOPE we carry in our hearts is SO vitally important! I will always allow different opinions to be expressed on this blog but I must come against this cessationist, passive, fatalistic view of the non-interventionist nature of God.

Rob says;

"I am so convinced that revival is going to manifest in every nation on the planet. I am so convinced that the shape of the Church is going to change so completely over the next few years - it is going to accelerate so fast! But you know - people who say this, "I can't wait to see revival - I am tired of waiting - unless I see revival now I am going to give up". Friends, you will NEVER see signs and wonders through your life or in your life unless you see it as a prophetic hope in your heart".

Guys - we must nuture this hope - this vision - this prophetic statement in our hearts! No offence - but I must reject strongly this negative, fatalistic opinion. God is God! And He NEVER changes! He is as much God who intervenes in time and space now as He is in Bible Times! He is God eternal!

Anonymous said...

How can it be fatalistic if it is closely following the Scriptures as outlined by the traditional teaching of the Reformers?

Scott Stringer said...

I actually said to Dan when he published this post that Mr Anonymous would have a few things to say on the matter...he doesn't disappoint does he?!

It wouldn't be so bad Mr Anon, if your criticisms were constructive.

I just cannot understand how you will not believe that signs and wonders can, and do happen today; it is very clearly written in black and white in the Bible, Mark 16:15-18,
'And He said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."'

Are we not part of the creation that Jesus spoke of?!

Dan said...

Excellent comments Scotty!! It's very interesting reading that Mark 16 passage properly and clearly. "These signs WILL accompany those who BELIEVE". It is kinda challenging when you put the emphasis in certain areas isn't it. Am I mis-interpreting by suggesting that if we reverse it, it will read;

"These signs WILL NOT accompany those who DON'T BELIEVE"?


James B said...

Samuel L Jackson says in the trailer you have posted;

"Who you are - what you are can change history".

Wowwwwwwwwwwww ........

Surely that's our great call as the people of God?!!?!? To change history?!?! To join the heroes of faith in Hebrews!?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

This Mark passage is suspect and is not in some of the earlier manuscripts so I don't think you can build a theology out of it to expect these signs from Christians.

Dan Bowen said...

Funny anonymous - I predicted (or prophesied) you would say exactly that this morning to Scott!! Right - so we can't build theology from Acts because it is "narrative" as I am sure you would argue. Now we can't build theology from this passage. What other passages are in danger from the scissors of editing?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is putting a full stop with his cessationism where the Word of God never puts a full stop. If you have all of what God intends for you then where is it?

It is worth noting that God will pour out His power where there is purity.
Power without character and holiness will wreck a person. If God can get His people to live right then He will delight to pour out His Spirit without measure.

Peter Day said...

It's becoming a little confusing with two anonymouses (or should that be anonymi???. :-)


Anyway, to the first Mr Anonymous - a few comments ago you said in response to Dan's rejection of the fatalistic opinion that God has stopped working by miraculous signs through His people:

"How can it be fatalistic if it is closely following the Scriptures as outlined by the traditional teaching of the Reformers?"

Why do we need to qualify a comment about following Scripture with "as outlined by the traditional teaching of the reformers"?

We must sure follow Scripture - not others' interpretation of Scripture, which may not be right. During the Reformation, the church said about justification by faith that it went against the traditional teaching of the church. The church of those days was seeking to keep people in bondage - and it is exactly the same today. There are so-called "Bible-teachers" who rely on tradition rather than truth and want to keep people in bondage.

On this blog we want what the BIBLE says not what men say. Of course, we do listen to what people teach, and we respect many teachers including the Reformers, but every teaching and every teacher must be tested by Scripture NOT tradition.


Mr second (non-angry) anonymous. I love your comment on first anonymous "If you have all of what God intends for you then where is it?"

Cessationism is a theology which is used to explain our lack of power. Here on this blog we don't have it all, but instead of creating teaching to excuse it we are saying we want it - everything that the New Testament says we should have.

Of course character is so important, and God graciously works in us to develop our character. At the same time, all His power comes because of His grace. We are able to move in the Holy Spirit because we have received the free gift of righteousness through Christ's finished work. No gift or power can ever be earned through our righteous deeds, but only received because of His finished work.

The curtain has been torn in two, not only so that we can go in, but so that we can see that the presence of God has come out. So His glory will not only fall on the temple, or the altar, but will continually overshadow His people (Ps 91).

People standing in His extravagant grace will become utterly God-obsessed, God-fearing and God-saturated, and the glory of the Lord will come, and miracles will flow.

janelle said...

Wow Dan, really good post, one of my favorite you've written so far.

To the first Anon, though Dan has his issues (as do a LOT of people) with SGM, one thing he doesn't do is take "sideswipes." In fact, SG churches aren't cessations so he would have no reason to. Dan knows I for one am and SGMer, and have never felt from anyone on this blog that they were take cheap shots at me for it.

Keep up the good work Dan.

Peter Day said...

Amen, Janelle.

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks for your comments Anonymous No. 2, Janelle and Pete!! Indeed Anon 2 I couldn't agree more with you that unveiled power without character can lead to disaster.

One of the things I love about Rob Rufus's ministry is his commitment to church history and learning from it and one can see from the Healing Evangelists of the 1950's that they moved in remarkable power (that we are not even seeing today ... yet) - yet their character was not rooted in grace, or in accountability to other ministries and so met with moral decline.

I'm so glad that you do not feel "got at" Janelle. I have the greatest respect for many, many people within SG - I think there is a remarkable amount of tremendously gifted, wonderfully devoted people and you are a credit to your leaders. (I must say that I have the most particular respect for the Phillips family - yourself and Jesse!). Whatever "issues" that I may have with SG are as a result of people taking good concepts to extremes. Yet the good concepts ARE there is SG and bearing wonderful fruit and I do pray that the wonderful Reformed/Charismatic emphasis you guys hold continues to gain influence.

Pete - you said it all;

"People standing in His extravagant grace will become utterly God-obsessed, God-fearing and God-saturated, and the glory of the Lord will come, and miracles will flow".

I have never and would never EVER pretend to "have it all" on this blog. Heaven forbid! But I want it all. I desire it all! Unashamedly I think! I'm tired of going to church and walking away feeling half satisfied. God is hiding is face! And I want to see the full, unveiled glory!

Anonymous said...

Wow...I guess I'm going to be another anonymous...not to be confused with the others. Funny what a google search will turn up with! So actually I'm in a church whose leaders are best friends with Rob and Glenda Rufus, and Fini and Isi have had the priviledge of having being discipled under Rob and Glenda. He is also coming to our church next week for the 2nd Glory and Grace here in Sydney! But...what drew me to this Blog was the Jumper theme, loved the film. What I wanted to mention, just one little thing, is that I actually had the priviledge of meeting a missionary couple from Iris Ministries a few weeks ago. They told our church of an incident where the wife was in Pemba, Mozambique dying from Malaria and the husband was in Northern Ireland. He was praying with the elders in the church and suddenly He was teleported to outside a hut in Mozambique. He went in and God told him to go into a room on the right (she had just been moved so no way he could have done that.) She says as she took her last breath she saw him, He laid hands on her and cast out the sickness and she was healed. He was then teleported back to Northern Ireland. Now here is the thing. He was not only seen by her but also be others. Seems that God is still enabling people to teleport for His purpose! Just thought I'd share that.

Peter Day said...

Fantastic!! So amazing - but we shouldn't be surprised because God hasn't changed. He loved an Ethiopian so much as to teleport Philip into the desert - and He hasn't changed. The same God, the same awesome power that HE GIVES TO US!! Glory!

Thank you so much for sharing this!

lydia joy said...

Wow, I'm glad I came back to read your comment anonymous, that is an amazing testimony! Hope you visit again! Grace to you!