God qualifies the called, He does not call the qualified.
This statement best summarizes the difference between gifts and talents.
The gifts are supernatural abilities given by God to do His work.
Talents And Education.
Talents are our best abilities that we have nurtured through practice, personality, genetics, education and interest.
Unfortunately, the gifts have become synonymous with education.
While God can use our talents, they can get in the way of God communicating with us because we must rely on
our internal abilities not on the external leading of God.
Often, God's methods appear very foolish, even self-destructive.
But this is because we judge by our talents, common sense and common thinking.
It is the gifted that will recognize the purpose of God or have the faith to go forward, not the educated.
Common thinking demands that we take the terrorist approach to attacking our problems
- big, spectacular, massive appeal, recognition, and memorable.
But the foolishness of God relies on the simple means and the dependent child and patience.
The gifts must be a separate phenomenon from talent and a superior human mind because it must be clear to the recipient that these abilities are not of human origin.
The Fruit Of The Spirit.
The gifts are also not the fruit.
The fruit are permanent traits that help us to share the very nature of God.
These are love, joy, peace and mercy.
The gifts are used to help the church in the present. They are temporary abilities needed while we have to battle evil.
Some are administrative gifts which help the church run more efficiently.
Others are gifts of evangelism which bring others to God.
Others are gifts of community which help us to bond together.
Because the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts according to His will and the needs of the
church at the present moment, you might find a different set of gifts predominating at different points in time.
- Early Church. The mission for a small group of people was to spread the gospel to the whole world.
As such, the gift of tongues was widely distributed so that they could communicate and quickly overcome
the greatest barriers to their target audience. Within twenty years, martyrdom was the gift that they needed the most.
- Dark Ages. The mission was survival and faith in a climate of repression by the church.
Therefore, the gifts of teaching and martyrdom were the means for keeping the church alive.
- Reformation. Knowledge, faith and courage were needed to recognize the will of God and to move forward.
- Advent Awakening. Prophetic guidance was needed after the close of such a long period of oppression and after the disappointment.
The prophecies of Daniel were being opened and four long prophetic time periods had just come to an end.
This also follows a pattern of using a great prophet to introduce a prophetic time period and then calling a minor prophet at the close of that period.
|Time Prophecy ||End ||Beginning Gift ||Major Prophet||Closing Prophet||Ending Gift |
|430 years in Egypt||1502 BC ||Faith ||Abraham ||Moses ||Miracles |
|70 year captivity in Babylon||457 BC ||Prophecy ||Jeremiah ||Daniel ||Prophecy|
|490 years remaining for the Jews ||34 AD||Prophecy ||Daniel ||Jesus ||Miracles|
|1260 years of persecution||1798||Prophecy ||Daniel, John ||Reformers ||Knowledge|
|2300 years to restore the sanctuary||1844||Prophecy ||Daniel ||Ellen White ||Prophecy|
- Last Days. Interpretation of prophecy, evangelism, and with an expected increase in demonic activity, I would expect that exorcism may be a gift we will often use.
We also expect the demonic forces to be performing miracles as proof that God is on their side. Therefore, because of the latter rain, we will have a revival of the spectacular gifts exhibited by Christ.
And it will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions. (Joel 2: 28)
|The Body Of Christ|
|Gift ||Text ||Problem Solved |
| Church Planting (Creating The Garden)|
|Apostle || ||Ephesians 4: 11; |
1 Corinthians 12:28
|Lead many churches|
|Evangelist ||Ephesians 4: 11|| Lead the unknown|
|Missionary ||Acts 22: 21; Romans 1: 5 ||Multi-cultural ministry|
|Martyr || ||1 Corinthians 13: 3|| Lead by example|
|Strength, Courage || ||Judges 14: 5-6, Acts 9: 28; 14:3;18:26|| Boldness, Courage|
|Community Building (Feeding and Growing the Church) |
|Pastor || ||Ephesians 4: 11 || Lead the known |
|Teacher ||Exodus 35:34; Ephesians 4: 11; 1 Corinthians 12: 28 ||Explain spiritual realities |
|Music ||1 Chronicles 25 || Singing about God |
|Administration ||1 Corinthians 12: 28 || Organize |
|Helps ||1 Corinthians 12: 28 || Fill in the gap|
|Serving || Romans 12: 7 || Needs of the church |
|Arts and Crafts ||Exodus 35: 31-35 || Creative with objects |
|Voluntary Poverty ||1 Corinthians 13: 3 || Devote personal resources|
|Scribe ||2 Peter 1: 21; 2 Chronicles 34: 13 || Write about God |
|Celibacy ||1 Corinthians 7: 7-8; Jeremiah 16: 1-2 ||Devote Time|
|Hospitality || ||1 Peter 4: 9; Matthew 25: 35 ||Entertain strangers|
|Mercy || Matthew 25: 34-40; Romans 12: 7 || Help the undeserved|
|Intercession || James 5: 14-16 || Talking to God|
|Encouragement ||Hebrews 3: 13; Isaiah 11: 2 || Lifting others|
|Giving || 2 Corinthians 9: 7; Exodus 25: 2; Romans 12: 8 || Devote money |
| Guidance (Training and Pruning the Branches) |
|Faith ||1 Corinthians 12: 9 || Know and believe in the power of God |
|Wisdom ||1 Corinthians 12: 8; Isaiah 11: 2; Exodus 28: 3 || Know what is best|
|Knowledge ||1 Corinthians 12: 8; Isaiah 11: 2; Exodus 35:34 || Know truth |
|Distinguish spirits ||
|1 Corinthians 12: 10 || Recognize deception|
|Prophecy ||1 Corinthians 12: 10, 28 |
Ephesians 4: 11
|Know the future. Speaks for God|
|Seer ||Joel 2: 28 ||Sees the future|
|Watchman ||Ezekiel 3: 17; Isaiah 56:10-12; Revelation 14:6-12; 18:4 || Warns the people|
|Proof of God (Display the Flowers and Advertise the Garden) |
|Tongues ||1 Corinthians 12: 10, 28 || Communications |
|Interpret tongues ||1 Corinthians 12: 10, 30 || Understanding languages|
|Interpret dreams || Daniel 2; Genesis 41 ||Interpret prophecy dreams|
|Healing ||1 Corinthians 12: 9, 28 || End disease and pain |
|Miracles ||1 Corinthians 12: 10, 28 || Control nature |
|Exorcism || Luke 9: 49 || Demon possession |
|Teleport ||Acts 8: 38-40; Ezekiel 3 ||Supernatural travel|
|Fruit of the Spirit || John 15: 8; 17: 22-23. Galatians 5: 22 - 23|| Love, unity|
The Structure Of The Church
We must recognize the real structure of the church in order to work effectively and win this battle.
- Christ. He is the head of the church. Therefore, any programs we do must be according to His will as revealed in the Bible.
- Holy Spirit. He decides how the gifts should be distributed.
- Church Leaders. Recognize the big picture and focus our programs to reach this goal.
As such they should teach the people about their gifts and help them to recognize it.
As they recognize the distribution of the gifts among the church members, they can also see the will of God.
- Church Members. Do the will of God according to our gifts.
The gifts are given so that we can accomplish the will of God stated in the great commission
And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit.
Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and look, I am with you always, even to the end of the age".
(Matthew 28: 18-20)
Sowing The Seed.
God has sown the Seed.
We are all seedlings in the garden of God.
Everyone has been given a measure of faith. This is the seed planted in everyone so that we can respond as He calls the whole world.
... as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
(Romans 12: 3)
The first and most important seed is the gift of Christ.
The Father Sends The Son.
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?
The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.
(John 14: 10)
The Son Sends The Spirit.
I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.
(John 14: 16)
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
(John 16: 7)
And the Spirit gives us gifts. But the Spirit and the gifts are only given to those who obey Him.
And so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.
(Acts 5: 32)
Like the army of God, they have a trumpet, pitcher, lamp and a sword.
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.
(Judges 7: 20)
The trumpets announce the presence of God.
The broken pots of clay give their life for the work of God.
The lamps reveal evidence of God.
The sword reveals internal evidence of the source of a work.
Church Planting Gifts
They announce the Kingdom of God.
The ability to reach new people by going outside your culture.
This is a ministry to the unbeliever.
Seedlings from the garden are planted in other places to establish new groups of believers.
- Apostle. One with leadership over many churches whose ministry is accompanied by miracles.
The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.
(2 Corinthians 12: 12)
- Evangelist. One who makes a short term commitment to share the gospel with unbelievers in many places so that they will make a decision for Christ.
- Missionary. One who makes a long term commitment to share the gospel with unbelievers and use other gifts in another culture or a designated place.
- Martyr. One who gives their life for God. They accept the danger in order to spread the gospel.
They submit to death rather than deny the will of God, but they do not cause their death to defend their faith. A martyr is not a suicide bomber and they do not purposely create conditions to cause their death to blame their enemies.
Church Building Gifts
They give their life to the church.
The ability to orderly manage the church and to lead the members to accomplish the will of God.
This is a ministry to the believer.
Through knowledge of God, we bring the water of life and the light of God to make the seeds grow in a special garden until it produces trees of righteousness with fruit.
They repeat the cycle by going out to plant and build new churches.
- Pastor. One who assumes a long term personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of a group of believers.
- Teacher. One who explains God with a combination of words and symbols and presentation so that others will learn.
They recognize that the Holy Spirit is there to change the hearts of the audience so that
your presentation is understood.
- Administration. One who devises and executes plans for the immediate and long term benefit of the church.
They ensure the orderly functioning of the church and incorporate the desires of the Holy Spirit.
- Helps. One who represents God wherever needed. They fill in the gaps by supporting the church in the many unrecognized tasks that make it run smoothly.
- Hospitality. One who represents God by kindness to guests, strangers and visitors to make them feel special.
- Voluntary Poverty. One who devotes much personal resources and money to God that they live like the poor.
- Arts and Crafts. One who represents God by visual objects.
- Scribe. One who represents God by the written word.
- Intercession. One who pleads with God in prayer on behalf of others, and is effective and persistent.
- Celibacy. One who remains single so that they can devote time and resources to God and concentrate their loyalty to the needs of the church.
Celibacy assures the maximum use of other gifts.
Jesus, Paul, Daniel and Jeremiah were single.
You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place.
(Jeremiah 16: 2)
Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and the other in that.
But I say to the unmarried and the widows that it is good for them to remain even as I.
(1 Corinthians 7: 7-8)
The ability to understand what God wants and why.
These gifts bring the church back to the right path through knowledge and warnings.
This is the person who pulls the weeds and does the pruning and brings fertilizer.
When I first wrote this lesson for the web site I was aware that I had many church building gifts.
As far as I knew, I did not have any guidance gifts except for an extraordinary faith and trust that made me bold.
Three years later, I have all of these gifts.
Since these gifts are difficult to prove to the public, they become a "proof of God" gift to the recipient.
The guidance gifts prepare the church for their exposure to the world,
because they direct the planting and building.
- Prophecy. One who has the ability to know the future because God reveals it to them.
Contrary to popular belief a prophet does not see the future.
A true prophet of God cannot gaze into the future at will.
Instead, God reveals significant portions of the past and the future to them when He wants to do so.
In fact, in the Old Testament, a prophet was one who communicated a message from God to the people.
Sometimes this has nothing to do with predicting the future.
Instead, they warned Israel about their behavior and the consequences of breaking the covenant. It will cause devastation in the future unless they repented.
As such, God asked Hosea to marry a prostitute to demonstrate Israel's condition and His love for the nation.
He told Jeremiah to walk naked, to act out their future.
In this, the prophet was called by God to show the people their condition before God and the future consequences.
|Vision Or Dream? |
Dream. A prophetic dream is an event that begins while one is asleep.
A vision is a prophetic episode that begins when one is awake.
This includes those who fall asleep or go into a trance because of the vision.
From my personal experience I have learned that
visions can also have real sensory experiences so that one can feel, smell and taste the experience.
(Revelation 10:10; Ezekiel 3: 1-3)
I have also classified at least two types of visions.
Internal. All images are part of the internal senses and are experienced like a day dream that cannot be controlled.
External. All images are experienced as real external objects that look as real as any physical object.
There are other concepts associated with prophecy that may be separate gifts and abilities of their own.
A prophet may simply be a person who possesses all these abilities and much more and has more authority.
- Seer. One who sees images or scenes from the past or future in a vision.
- Dreamer. One who has dreams about the future or the concerns of God. Nebuchadnezzar had a prophetic dream but he was not a prophet.
- Watchman. A watchman guards the church by looking for signs of danger or signs of the work of God so that they can blow the trumpet and wake up or warn the people.
The three angel's message is the trumpet of the watchman to the last generations.
Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them for Me.
(Ezekiel 3: 17)
- School Of The Prophets. The existence of such schools suggests that there is some part of the work of a prophet that can be passed on to others through human instruction.
So a prophet is much more than a passive recipient of knowledge from God.
A prophet understands the working of God in history and they understand the law and the covenant.
|The Gift Of Knowledge |
Normally, a person would study, memorize and accumulate information and make links between concepts as they analyze information.
At some point they can reference this internal library to analyze new information.
Some people do it more efficiently than others. This is not a gift.
By A Gift.
This gift is experienced in reverse order of the traditional way of acquiring knowledge.
In the gift of knowledge the library is immediately installed in your brain. It takes less than a second to acquire vast stores of knowledge.
You know that it is there. You know when it occurs. You immediately know what it all means. But you have never studied it or known that it was relevant or important.
And because you are not responsible for accumulating each piece of information, the experience initially seems strange.
You can reference it as you would any accumulated knowledge.
Afterwards, you have to go though your mind and write down all that it means in your own words.
It took less than a second for the Holy Spirit to send me the information on Revelation 16.
- Wisdom. One who knows which choice is best, and how knowledge can best be applied to the decisions made about the work of God.
- Knowledge. One who discovers, accumulates, understands, analyzes and clarifies information about the teachings about God because of knowledge given by God.
God promised to give wisdom and knowledge in the time of the end, so that the prophecies can be understood.
Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly;
and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.
(Daniel 12: 10)
- Distinguish Spirits (Discernment). One who knows what is from God, what is from Satan and what may be of human origin.
Now that I have this gift I can say that it is more awesome. This gift affects all your senses as if you are a witness to the original events of the facts being evaluted. It is the ability to feel what God feels in a situation so that you become a sort of truth detector and know what He knows. You both feel and know the reaction of the Holy Spirit to a situation.
It is a form of the gift of knowledge.
- Leadership. One who sets goals for the future of the church based on the will of God and effectively communicates these goals to others.
- Great Faith. One who believes that God will act on their behalf. One who is confident about the will of God. Every human has been given some faith to know God. (Romans 12: 3)
But the guidance faith is a greater faith.
Other Gifts And Abilities
The list in the New Testament by no means covers all the abilities of the Holy Spirit.
We can find many other gifts in the Bible.
Some people do not recognize these as gifts because they are outside the traditional lists in Ephesians and 1 Corinthians.
But I recognized some of these abilities in me as extraordinary supernatural abilities, not just as talents.
So I searched the Old Testament for examples.
- Arts And Crafts. In Exodus 35: 30-35, God gave two men (Bezalel and Oholiab) the ability to create the furnishings and the sanctuary according to the heavenly pattern.
They had the ability to work creatively with all types of materials and textiles.
He told Noah how to build the ark.
A bronze worker helped to build Solomon's temple (1 Kings 7: 14). Knowledge is communicated through visual objects and symbols.
- Scribe. One who preaches and teaches with the pen. People who have musical abilities often have the ability to write inspiring words in their songs.
David wrote the Psalms. Some do not have the ability to teach in public but they do have the ability to write and illustrate effectively
with printed words, poetry and sound. Knowledge is communicated through reason.
- Music. One who represents God by praising Him through sound. Knowledge is communicated through emotion.
Prophecy was communicated through music!
(1 Chronicles 25)
- Interpretation Of Prophetic Dreams. Joseph and Daniel had these gifts.
Joseph interpreted the dreams of several people in Egypt. Daniel interpreted the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar.
Both men eventually held high political offices because they interpreted the dreams of the leader of the nation.
» Types Of Dreams. There are books and people who claim to be experts in interpreting dreams.
However, according to Daniel only God can interpret dreams because He gives the meaningful dreams.
So there are different types of dreams. Some have meaning and some do not.
- Dreams Without Supernatural Meaning. These dreams are part of the natural brain processes of sleeping. The meanings are related to the activities of the day, not to any supernatural guidance or prophetic ability to see the future.
- Brain Maintenence. As you sleep and the brain begins to store and catalog memories, your last waking experiences and worries may filter through your brain as dreams.
- Cares and Fears of Life. Traumatic experiences, scary stories and movies and worrying can all add trauma to the daily maintenance of the brain.
» A Dream Language.
It is possible that our brains may be wired similarly for dreaming or symbol making.
As we catalogue each daily experience, we may use the same set of symbols to define the same emotions and meaning that we consciously apply to our waking experiences.
So we may all catalog fear as a black cloud or black thing and hopelessness as falling.
- Dreams With Supernatural Meaning. They can only find the true meaning of their symbols in the covenant, the sanctuary and the laws of God.
In these dreams everything has meaning.
- Supernatural Guidance. These dreams are meant to guide the dreamer. If you are about to undergo a long trial or test, God gives you dreams to guide you along the path as a time line.
Joseph had a dream about his future. Shackled as a slave and then as a prisoner and alone in a foreign country, he could trust that one day his father and brothers would bow down to him. This meant that he would not die in a foreign prison falsely charged with being a rapist.
In my experience these dreams also follow the rules about the meaning of the symbols.
However, since they are personal in nature then familiar people or things may appear in the dreams.
These symbols tend to be very realistic. They have the same behavior in real life as in the dreams.
- Prophetic Dreams. These dreams are meant to guide the church or the nation.
- Interpretation Of Prophecy. The ability to understand the meaning of prophecies.
He said, "Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end of time.
Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand,
but those who have insight will understand.
(Daniel 12: 9-10)
God hid the meaning of prophecy during the time of persecution.
Then, during the Great Awakening and the Advent movement he gave men like Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. Joseph Wolfe, William Miller and many others the ability to interpret the prophecies of Daniel
which God wanted to be understood at this time.
- Strength. Samson had incredible strength when the Spirit of the Lord came over him (Judges 14: 5-6).
- Courage. As a boy David had the courage to challenge Goliath when all of Israel was afraid.
... for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God.
... David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with him".
(1 Samuel 17: 26, 32)
The apostles spoke with boldness (Acts 9: 28; 14: 3; 18: 26).
Deborah went to battle to encourage the army to fight Sisera when the men were afraid. (Judges 4: 8-9)
Their courage was centered around honoring God.
Proof Of God Gifts
The ability to instantly control the physical and spiritual worlds and time in a public manner.
While the guidance gifts are mainly in the head and mind of the person, these gifts are on public display.
But they need other prerequisite gifts or are a special subset of other gifts.
These gifts are like the fruit and the flower that opens to attract others around them to come to the garden.
They are meant to call the world to God so that they no longer have an excuse to deny God.
- Knowledge. Extraordinary knowledge like quantum physics and the Periodic table in the Torah, is proof of God.
One who has instant control over biological systems and natural processes. Miracles that control time and biological reactions. It requires great faith.
- Miracles. One who has knowledge and control over the natural laws of biology, chemistry, aerodynamics, cosmology, physics, time, atoms and space. It requires great faith.
- Raising The Dead. 1 Kings 17:17-24 (the son of the widow of Zarepeth); 2 Kings 4:25-37 (the son of the Shunammite woman). 2 Kings 13: 21 (Elisha's bones).
Luke 7:11-15 (the son of the widow of Nain); Luke 8: 41-56 (Jairus' daughter); John 11: 40-44 (Lazarus); Acts 9:36-41 (Dorcas); Acts 20:9-11 (Eutychus).
- Chemistry. Jesus turns water to wine. (John 2: 1-10). Water purified with salt (2 Kings 2:19-22).
- Communicate with Nature. Jesus calms the stormy sea (Matthew 8: 23-27).
- Physics. Joshua stops the sun and moon (Joshua 10: 12-13). Stops the flow of rivers and seas. Moses parts the Red Sea (Exodus 14: 21-31). Joshua parts the Jordan river (Joshua 3: 15-17). Elisha parts river (2 Kings 2:14).
- Controlling Planets And Gravity. In the Old Testament an Axe head floats (2 Kings 6: 5-7). Jesus walks on water (Matthew 14: 27-31). Jesus floats beyond the clouds (Acts 1: 9-10). Isaiah brings the shadow backwards (2 Kings 20: 11).
- Multiplying Food. Feeds 5000 people and the women and children with two fish and five loaves of bread (Matthew 14: 17-21). He feeds 4000 people and the women and children with seven loaves and a few fish (Matthew 15: 33-39).
He makes the widows' depleted oil and flour supply food for a long time (1 Kings 17: 11-17). Oil multiplied (2 Kings 4:1-6).
- Biology (Virgin Birth). While it is theoretically possible for a virgin to give birth to a female child since her eggs have only the "X" chromosome, it is impossible for her to have a male child. But Mary had a son. (Luke 1: 34-35)
Animal genes changed when exposed to a spotted and striped stick as they mated (Genesis 30: 33-43; 31: 9-13).
- Recreative Miracles. Jesus reattaches the right ear of Malchus the high priest's servant (Luke 22: 50-51).
- Creative Miracles. All the works done during the six days of creation are potential miraculous gifts.
When God made the tree grow quickly it was the miracle of creating trees on the fourth day (Jonah 4: 5-7).
- Destructive Miracles.
All the works done during the ten plagues of the exodus are potential miracles.
Moses and Aaron had this gift and it is hinted at in Revelation 11: 5-7 where the two witnesses have the ability to use destructive miracles.
The gifts are the opposite of the constructive "proof of God" gifts. They are used when God is at war with His enemies.
- Confusion (No Wisdom). God confuses the enemy so that they will destroy each other (Judges 7).
- Scattering Language (Many Tongues). At Babel God destroyed the ability to understand language by creating many languages through confusion (Genesis 11: 1-9).
God thoroughly confused the language by changing the words, sentence structure, word order, word formation rules, writing script and direction of reading.
It required the gift of tongues to overcome this curse.
» Gathering Languages (One Tongue). This is the true reversal of the events at the Tower of Babel. It is my personal belief that God can allow all nations to instantaneously understand one language.
This is different from the gift of tongues, where the messenger is instantaneously given the ability to understand other languages. It is not the ability of the messenger to speak one language and the listeners hear the interpretation in their own language.
In this miracle the people and the messenger are changed when both receive the gift that allows them to understand one language.
- Plagues (No Healing). God causes physical and environmental calamities of natural origin (Exodus 7-12).
- Transmutation (Shape Shifting). This is the ability to change objects from one form to another. God changed Aaron's rod into a serpent (Exodus 7: 8-11) and He changed water to blood (Exodus 7: 20). Satan challenged Jesus to turn stone into bread (Luke 4: 3). Jesus turned water into wine (John 4: 46).
Jesus appeared in different forms so that He was sometimes unrecognizable or slightly recognizable.
This ability was much more than a one time cosmetic change of a new resurrected body.
Dynamic Shape Shifing Jesus.
After that He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country.
(Mark 16: 12)
- Warriors (No Peace). One person or a very small army defeats a great army. Moses, Joshua and David were all skilled fighters and Jesus leads an army in the end.
One who has authority over Satan and his angels to drive them out of the mind of a living creature.
Possession is the act of a superior spiritual being taking control of the mind of a lesser physical being with or without their consent.
They acquire the ability to influence thoughts and control the motor functions such as movement and speech.
» Possessed By Satan.
He can possess humans and animals (Mark 5: 1-13). He possessed the serpent to tempt Eve (Genesis 3: 1-6). He entered Judas so that he would proceed with the plan to betray Jesus (John 13:27).
There is no example of him possessing inanimate objects.
Just like other twisted acts of Satan, demon possession seems to be a terrible misuse of an ability that is unique to spiritual creatures.
Demonic possession is a violent spiritual rape.
» Possessed By The Holy Spirit. There appears to be a legitimate possession by the Holy Spirit, since it is the job of the Holy Spirit to guide our conscience.
- Animal. God spoke through Balaam's donkey (Numbers 22: 28).
- Ezekiel. The Spirit entered him and moved his body.
Then He said to me, "Son of man, stand on your feet so that I may speak with you".
As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and I heard Him speaking to me.
(Ezekiel: 2: 1-2)
- Ezekiel. The Spirit entered him and transported his body a great distance with the chariot of God.
Then the spirit lifted me up and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me, "Blessed be the glory of the Lord in this place."
And I heard the sound of the wings of the living beings touching one another and the sound of the wheels behind them, even a great rumbling sound.
... so the Spirit lifted me up and took me away
... then I came to the land of the exiles who lived beside the river Chebar at Tel-abib, and I sat there
seven days where they were living, causing consternation among them.
(Ezekiel: 3: 12-15)
- Moses Shares The Spirit. The Spirit was taken from Moses and shared with others.
The Lord therefore said to Moses, "Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people
and their officers and bring them to the tent of the meeting, and let them take their stand there with you.
Then I will come down and speak to you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you and will put Him upon them;
and they shall bear the burdens of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone".
(Numbers: 11: 16-17)
» Exorcism In The Last Days. Earlier, I stated that this is a gift that might be predominant in the last days because of the
increased demonic activity and desperation of Satan and his army.
The Catholic church appears to be gearing up for performing exorcisms.
Unfortunately, their guidelines for identifying a possessed person includes the following tests.
My problem is that these "tests" identify the qualities that the church will have when the latter rain falls!
- Aversion to Religious Things. So, whose standard of "religious things" are we ignoring? This could be the reaction of the saints when they try to force us to accept idolatrous religious practices.
Is it an aversion if I choose to worship on Saturday instead of Sunday?
Is it an aversion if I do not want to bow down to idols or pray to Mary and the saints or participate in the mass?
I prefer the Protestant communion services and I have an aversion to idolatry.
- Possessing Hidden Knowledge. This could be the gift of wisdom and knowledge.
- Speaking in a Foreign Language. This could be the gift of tongues.
- Super Human Strength. Strength was a legitimate gift to Samson. If I am being forced to eat or drink or bow down before a useless statue and I resist, does this count?
My other problem with current exorcists is that they do not appear to have the authority that comes with the gift.
Their exorcisms take days or hours. They cannot distinguish between mental illness and possession.
They confuse issues of temperance and self control with "demons of cigarette" and "demons of drugs and alcohol".
They use charms like holy water and holy oil, as if Satan is afraid of these things or afraid of going to church! He is not!
They do not have the prerequisites of faith and discernment which are a part of this gift.
Satan is afraid of you, when you believe that God will act when you ask.
I believe that the true gift must work immediately.
» A Class On Exorcism? Exorcism is risky business if you do not have the authorization that the gift gives to you.
You cannot be taught to be an exorcist using canned words and prayers and holy water anymore than you can be taught to raise the dead with an oxygen tank and a few Psalms.
» Exorcism Props.
The self-taught exorist appears at these rituals with a cross, a Bible, holy water and maybe a candle with a prescribed list of procedures and magical set of words which will control Satan when incanted. Really?!!!
Before the crucifixion, the cross was a symbol that means "sign, seal, covenant". Satan took this symbol and killed his God on it. That is how much Satan is afraid of the cross. Satan is not afraid of two pieces of stick in the shape of the letter "T".
He is not afraid of water beause he is confined to the "sea", even the exorcised spirits who were placed in the pig ran into the water.
He is not afraid of the Bible because he can quote scripture.
Home Grown Exorcists.
But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had had the evil spirits the name of the Lord, saying, "I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches."
Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.
Who Are You? And the evil spirit answered and said to them, "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?"
You Are Not The Boss Of Me! And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
(Acts 19: 14-16)
Satan is not afraid of a cross. He is afraid of the One who beat him at the cross.
Satan is not afraid of the graduate school exorcist. Satan is afraid of the person with the power and authorization from God who can control him. This person does not need props. He or she needs the authority of Jesus Christ.
- Teleportation. Ezekiel was taken to Tel-Abib. (Ezekiel 3: 12-15). Philip was taken away by the Holy Spirit after he baptized the eunuch.
"And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing." (Acts 8: 38-40)
- Communication. These gifts are a special subset of the gift of knowledge. They are based on knowledge about languages and are probably downloaded in the same way.
- Tongues. The ability to speak in a real language that you do not know. It is not the ability to learn languages quickly or to teach yourself new languages.
With this gift, you instantly know a foreign language that you were not trained in and did not know one second before receiving it.
- Interpret Tongues. The ability to translate a real language that you do not know. This person usually translates the words of the person who is speaking in tongues.
- Communicating with Animals and Nature. God talked to Baalam's donkey. He made a fish swallow Jonah and swallow coins to pay taxes.
A bird fed Elijah. Jesus talked to the storm. God even claims to be able to make "the stones cry out" (Luke 19: 40). He can have a two-way communication at the molecular level.
- Fruit Of The Spirit.
The love and unity of the church is the proof of God that He ultimately requires from the church.
The proof of God is when the Holy Spirit completes His Work and writes the law of God in our hearts.
The glory which you have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one.
I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that they world may know that You sent Me, and loved them even as You have loved Me.
(John: 17: 22-23)
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
(John: 15: 8)
Love Is The Better Way
No matter how spectacular they are, the gifts are temporary abilities given to some people which will not
survive in the new earth. There are other things that are even greater and these
will be with us for eternity. And every Christian will have these.
They are the fruits of the Spirit.
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love I am nothing."
... Love never fails, but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away.
If there are tongues, they will cease.
If there is knowledge, it will be done away.
(1 Corinthians 13: 1, 2, 8)
The spectacular gifts are temporary. They can never substitute for the fruit of the Spirit, especially love.
The ideal circumstances are for the church to grow the fruit of the Spirit so that they can fight evil and demonstrate the character of God to the world. Then God equips them with the gifts to do service.
There are certain gifts that are permanent because they are God's way of fulfilling the covenant.
Holy Spirit. The Spirit is given to write the law in our hearts so that we will bear the fruit of the Spirit and we will not sin again.
... Repent, each of you and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins;
and you will receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
(Acts 2: 38)
Eternal Life. This is given to the transformed people of God in heaven who will not sin.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6: 23)
Covet The Gifts
The sin of covetousness is to want what is not yours or can never be yours.
But the Bible tells us to covet or "earnestly desire" the best gifts.
This means that although the Holy Spirit gives the gifts to whoever He wants, they are ours.
But earnestly desire the greater gifts ...
(1 Corinthians 12: 31)
Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
(1 Corinthians 14: 1)
The Role Of Faith
Many fake healers, temporary healings and fake healings thrive because the "lack of faith" on the part of the sick is blamed for the failure of the healing.
What role does faith have in exercising these gifts?
- The Lack of Faith of The Sick. Modern "healers" conveniently place the burden of their failure to heal on the shoulders of the sick. Consequently, their "successes" are not on the nightly news because they are either unproven or not statistically relevant.
So they operate within the sphere of the church among those whom they can convince that it is their fault that healing has failed. It is amazing what people accept.
If miracles are a sign to the unbeliever, then God is ridiculed when healings fail.
- Temporary Healings. People accept healings that do no last. People have claimed to be healed one night only to wake up the next morning with their sickness.
How is God glorified when He does this? The fact is that a healing never took place. You should expect that your healing should last for a long time.
The only reason sickness should return is if you return to the bad behavior that caused the illness.
So if you are healed of lung cancer and you return to smoking, then you might develop lung cancer again in twenty years.
If you are healed of a STD and you go back to prostitutes you can be reinfected the next day.
If your demons were cast out and you neglect God, your next possession will be worse (Matthew 12:43-45).
The healing will not fail, but you can fail to stay healthy by your behavior.
- No Healing. Permanently disabled people like quadraplegics drag themselves from one healer to another from decade to decade only to be denied healing because of "their lack of faith".
If God had appointed a real healer, how is He glorified by unworkable, unprovable, guilt-ridden, disappointing encounters with His appointed healers?
- Modern Medicine. If miraculous healing is statistically inferior to the success of atheist physicians or a cancer-sniffing dog, how is God glorified?
How is the miracle a proof to unbelievers? If the workers of God are more likely to be labelled as snake oil salesmen, is this not a dishonor to the name of God?
So I believe that only the healer needs to have faith and every attempted healing must be successful.
- Hostility To God. The Bible points to Jesus being unable and unwilling to heal because of the behavior of the entire community.
» Open Rebellion.
These people were not healed because of their lack of faith, it was their blatant disrespect and rejection of the gift.
The covenant warns about hostility to God. When your disobedience and rejection reaches the level of open hostility, then God will reject you.
- Rejected By Prejudice. Even after witnessing the miracles they rejected Him on the basis of their prejudices towards Him.
How could the bastard son of that whore Mary have such power from God?
Dishonored in His Own Town. ... and they took offense at Him.
Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.
Miracles Dried Up.
And He could do no miracles there except He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
And He wondered at their unbelief.
(Mark 6: 3-6)
- Rejected By Fear. After Jesus healed a demon-possessed man the community ran Him off.
All the people of the country of Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave, for they were gripped with great fear; and He got into a boat and returned.
(Luke 8: 37)
- Rejected By Social Influence (The Wavering and Double Minded).
Here is an interesting story of hostility and faith and the wavering faith of an entire community.
But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren.
Signs and Wonders. Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands.
Wavering. But the people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles.
Hostility. And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers to mistreat and stone them,
they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region.
(Acts 14: 2-6)
They saw signs and wonders, yet they wavered and resorted to hostility at the instigation of malicious people.
They refused to believe for themselves although God gave them signs. So the disciples fled.
The disciples had the ability to discern faith and they used that ability to choose the person on whom they would perform the next miracle.
At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet, lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked.
This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well, said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he leaped up and began to walk.
(Acts 14: 8-10)
In the midst of hostility, only those with faith should be healed.
When a crowd is potentially hostile they might accuse you of fraud and fake healings, so the healer must choose a local whom the crowd knew was visibly ill.
Among this hostility they saw a man with faith and healed him because of his faith.
This faith might become the single event that turns the people towards God as they see one whom they have known to be sick miraculously healed.
However, the people overreacted and tried to worship them as gods who had come in the form of men.
But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city ...
(Acts 14: 19)
However, hostility overcame them and they stoned the man whom they had just tried to worship as God.
This story shows how destructive it is to be both double-minded and easily influenced by a mob mentality. It also reminds us that God expects a positive response to extraordinary proof of power from people who have a sound mind that should be able to grasp concepts that are easy to reason.
Reject The Disobedient.
Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.
(Mark 6: 11)
These examples are more than a lack of belief in the power of God.
The purpose of the miraculous gifts are as a sign to the unbeliever so that they can turn to God.
When an entire community chooses to be hostile to God and signal that they will be unresponsive to evidence of His power, then healing them is a useless task.
God will perform a miracle to honor His name but He will cease performing miracles if you continually dishonor Him.
Wavering in indecisiveness and being easily swayed by hostility is an act of war against God.
The Unstable Double-Minded.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given him.
But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind,
For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
(James 1: 5-8)
This is why God hates the lukewarm Christian. You are either in our out. You cannot sit on the fence.
- The Faith Of The Sick. Even though the sick person might not have the gift of healing, the Bible clearly teaches that the faith of a person without the gift can cause healing at that moment for that one occasion.
However, most healings were done for people who never exercised faith.
» The Faith Healer as Our Representative. So why does God not honor the faith of His own appointed healers, especially when reliable healing will glorify Him and haphazard healing dishonors or ridicules Him?
- No Faith. The vast majority of the people were healed without having faith. They came for healing with hope, but not faith.
» Naaman. He was healed after he submitted, despite showing impatience and lack of faith (2 Kings 5).
- Personal Faith. God honored the bold faith of the sick that reached out to God, not the faith of the healer.
The Woman with The Issue of Blood.
... "Daughter take courage, your faith has made you well". At once the woman was made well.
(Matthew 9: 22)
The Immoral Woman Who Anointed His Feet.
... "Your faith has saved you, go in peace."
(Luke 7: 50)
- Representative Faith. In these cases God honored the faith of a representative, not the faith of the sick or the gift of the healer!
The Caananite Woman with The Demon-Possessed Daughter.
Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once.
(Matthew 15: 28)
The Centurion's Slave.
... I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith".
(Luke 7: 9)
- The Faith Of The Healer.
While the Bible teaches that the faith of the sick can cause them to be healed, independent of the healer, it does not teach that the sick must have faith to be healed. It is the person with the gift of healing who must possess the Great faith that reliably releases the miracles 100% of the time.
When the disciples failed to cast out a demon, Jesus blamed them, not the sick man.
The Disciples Failed. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not drive it out?"
They Lacked Faith. And He said to them, "because of the littleness of your faith."
Mustard Seed Faith. For truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "move from here to there", and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
(Matthew 17: 19-20)
Here is common sense.
If the gift of healing can perform these miracles solely through the power of God, why can the same power not overcome the skepticism of the unbeliever in order to let the miracle lead to faith?
When the gift of healing is entirely in the hands of God, then God gets all the credit.
If faith by the unbeliever is required, it gives them undeserved power and credit over this miracle and it gives fake healers a window to flourish.
- Limited Healings. If the burden of faith is on the sick then how can these healings be performed?
- Dead. How can the dead be healed if not for the faith of the healer?
- Babies. A young child has no concept of faith or understanding of language so that they can form the requisite intent of knowledge required by faith.
- Mentally Disabled. Those who are unconscious or severely mentally retarded or incapable of understanding cannot exercise faith because they cannot understand.
- The Impossible Miracle. Sometimes the miracle is so great that skepticism is the normal and expected reaction. This is where the power of God can shine the brightest, because God can achieve what we believe is impossible and He can essentially show Himself awesome.
- Unbeliever. How can the unbeliever come to faith and trust if faith is first required?
- Useless Cogs. What is the purpose of the healer if healing is solely dependent on the faith of the sick?
Acquiring And Transferring The Gifts
When the bar of faith is set low, so that we can blame "lack of faith" for our failures, any abuses can occur. So gift-mongering is becoming a business.
No human can give, teach or transfer these gifts.
- Books and Classes.
Some people are giving classes on how to become a faith healer and how to become a prophet, teaching that there are a set of steps which you can follow or special anointing that they can give to distribute any gift.
People can teach you how to live a healthful life but nobody can teach you how to heal miraculously or how to prophecy or how to acquire any of the gifts of God.
- The Mantle of Power. Some teach that they can give "their mantle" to others like Elijah.
When Elijah departed the earth and turned over His role as prophet to Elisha by giving him his mantle it was because God had first chosen Elisha to take over the office of Elijah.
Elijah did not chose Elisha, God did!
- Laying On Of Hands (Touching).
Power transfer can be done by touching. However, this is done with the approval of God and the selection by the Holy Spirit.
One hopes that a person with the real power will be so in tune with the will of the Father that they would only lay hands on those who have been approved.
- Holy Spirit.
The Bible teaches that it is the Holy Spirit Who gives the gifts to whoever He wishes.
The Real Gift Giver.
There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
(1 Corinthians 12: 11)
We do not decide who gets a gift. We cannot bequeath our gift like a legacy or heirloom. The Holy Spirit decides based on the overall needs.
So we can do nothing more than to ask for these gifts or show ourselves worthy of receiving the gifts, but we cannot attend a class or read a book or be anointed by a "gifted person" and graduate at the end with a diploma certifying that we have the authority and power of a spiritual gift.
» The Faith Of The Last Generation.
Many Christians make excuses for their lack of faith by appealing to science.
God will choose to distribute His gifts to those who believe in the past, who are waiting for the hope of the future and who know that the creator God is much smarter than scientists.
- The Past Miracles Of The Bible. Non-believers say that the Bible is a book of fables and some Christians claim that these stories were not real, but allegories.
- The Age Of Miracles Is Gone. One convenient way to pretend that you have faith is to express belief in the past, but deny the future promise.
- The Future Miracles (Latter Rain). The promise of God is that the burst of miracles during the ministry of Christ will be repeated at the end of time.
Unfortunately, many Christians claim that the gift of healing is seen in the advances in medicine and in the inventions demonstrated in science and engineering. They deny any supernatural miracles that cannot be explained and reproduced by science.
It is easy to cover up your lack of faith and pretend to acknowledge God by claiming these scientific advances were "inspired by God". It allows you to appear both faithful and scientific.
The Miracle Worker
The primary purpose of the gift is as a sign to the unbeliever, to give glory and honor to God and bring the unbeliever to faith.
Since it is the Holy Spirit who executes the miracle, the miracle worker can be separated by distance from the miracle, but cannot be separated by time.
The miracle must occur at the moment it is promised and the witnesses must know that this is an act of God.
Therefore, the miracle must be dramatic enough and not so drawn out that it can be disconnected from the miracle worker so that credit can be given to medicine, doctors, vegetables, potions, spontaneous healing or other gods.
|Miracle Working Abuses|
Unscrupulous people have taken the most extreme forms of this power and made a cottage industry of healing objects.
» Relics. The possessions and body parts of dead prophets, apostles and "saints" are a big business.
There is a huge market for blood, bone, teeth, hair, clothes and possession of these people and even the objects that killed them.
There is even a secondary market for modern objects that are used to touch these objects to make them sacred.
Therefore, there is technically no limit to the amount of healing objects that can be produced and sold.
Simply take the fingernails of a dead saint and let them touch 100 yards of fabric and you have 100 yards of holy cloth.
» Blessed Objects.
These scoundrels bless objects and sell them as a cure all or good luck charms.
- Laying On Of Hands. The most common way is to physically approach and touch the sick with your body or to breathe on them or to use His spit to heal them.
» Multiple Stage Healing. While healing the deaf and blind, Jesus performed this miracle in two steps in some cases.
Critics claim that He did not seem to get it right and He was using trial and error.
However, the truth is that Jesus used this opportunity to make a prophecy about how God would heal the deafness and blindness of Israel, predicted by the prophets.
In this state they could not recognize the Messiah.
So Israel will be cured of blindness in two stages. At first, the Messiah would appear to be fuzzy to them and be a man who looked like a tree or a man walking like a tree.
Then after they wash and search intently under the influence of the Holy Spirit their eyes will be opened.
- Shadow. People who were near by were healed when the shadow of the disciples touched them.
Touched by A Shadow.
to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter passed by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them.
(Acts 5: 15)
- Speaking With Authority. People within hearing of the voice of the healer.
- Long Distance. If the sick are at a distance, the representative who requests the miracle must be in contact with the miracle worker to witness that the healing occurred when the command to heal was given.
So he inquired of them, the hour when he began to get better. Then they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him."
So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives"; and he himself believed and his whole household.
(John 4: 52-53)
» Delayed Broadcast.
So it should be possible for a healing to occur from a taped broadcast long after the healer prayed for the audience.
The requirement that the miracle must be directly connected to one who credits God as the true Healer at a specific moment is met under these conditions.
- Bones. The bones of the dead prophet Elisha gave life to a man who fell on them.
The Dead Raise The Dead.
As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha he revived and stood up on his feet.
(2 Kings 13: 21)
The dead were also raised when Jesus died.
- Cloth. Objects were blessed and taken to the sick. The connection to the miracle worker is made by the witness who brought the object and can verify that healing occurred the moment the object is applied.
This directly connects the healing to the healer at the time of the instantaneous healing.
God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,
so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from His body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.
(Acts 19: 11-12)
» Blessed Trinkets (Cloth, Coins, Holy Water, Oil). Unfortunately, this feature of healing has been abused by unscrupulous people who will "bless" a $2 square yard of cheap material, cut it up in 1296 pieces and distribute it for the price of postage to gullible and desperate people for "donations" of $100 or more.
» Slain In The Spirit. This is a phenomenon that is common among current "faith healers".
At the touch of the healer the people fall backwards.
There is no evidence of any such theatrics when Jesus or the disciples healed.
Proving The Gifts
There has been an explosion in claims about the gifts, yet the secular nightly news is silent on the phenomena.
Is there a conspiracy to suppress the proof of God miracles by a liberal, godless media?
Does it make sense that even the suffering wicked would deliberately ignore and squelch such a miraculous event?
Why does the media ignore this manifestation of the Spirit?
Or, why do we not aggressively seek to show proof of the power of God?
- Obscure Places. Why are great miracles confined to primitive locations? Why doesn't God raise the rotting stinking corpses in New York? Why does He only raise the recently dead in the Congo jungle?
- Testimonials. People regularly testify about healings and seeing a doctor who confirmed the miraculous change. However, they could be lying or they could be actors.
These testimonials are not proof.
- Unverifiable Healings. Healings tend to be diseases we cannot touch or see or feel or that can be faked.
How do we know that person was deaf or blind or had cancer or chronic back pain?
Why didn't God heal superman who was famous, verifiably paralyzed for years and confined to a wheel chair?
Why does God continue to only heal the John Smiths of Tennessee and Suzie Nobody of Arkansas?
In all these years of faith healing ministries has neither God nor the healers heard of a video camera to document the visible healings?
After all, these proofs are for the unbeliever.
- Useless "Healers". Prosperity and healing ministries which are in business for several decades cannot prove that they healed anyone. I heard one say that he believes that two people were cured. Another one wrote in a book that he cannot document any cures. They excel in their personal prosperity but not in the healing. How do they get away with this?
- It's Not Supernatural. Fake healers have been caught lying about their powers because they use wireless technology or magician's tricks or actors faking injuries.
- It's Supernatural. So What? Finally, a phenomenon may be supernatural but it may not be from God. Satan will be able to perform miracles that he has not been able to perform before.
With our threshold set so low that we already have a built in scapegoat, Satan's lying wonders will sweep through a gullible church and deceive them.
And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.
And he deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs which were given him to perform in the presence of the beast ...
(Revelation 13: 13-14)
For they are the spirits of demons performing signs ...
(Revelation 16: 14)
Given the power of these demons, there is probably only one miracle that we can be certain that they cannot perform or pretend to perform.
My feelings are that the limit of his power is to produce spectacular light shows in the sky.
He can create meteor showers by throwing dust in the air, he can probably recreate the Aurora and generate great storms.
- Raising The Dead. Only Jesus has the keys to death and Hades. So Satan cannot raise the dead.
Power Over Death.
... I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and Hades.
(Revelation 1: 17-18)
However, sometimes people who have been declared clinically dead have woken up days or hours later in the morgue and in earlier days in the grave.
Taking advantage of our lack of perfect knowledge, Satan can pretend to raise people whom our experts have declared dead.
So if someone does not have an identical twin who can be used in a sleight-of-hand fraud, Satan cannot pretend to raise someone whose rotting flesh and stinking body is obvious to our own senses.
- Life Giving Miracles. He should not be able to make body parts grow back instantaneously, or trees grow suddenly but we cannot be certain what is possible if a person is alive.
There are trees than can grow several inches per day, so if this ability is due to a particular chemical, what prevents Satan from applying that chemical to a young plant and making the tree grow several feet.
- Other Miracles. We have no clue about his other powers, except that he is "the prince of the power of the air".
So we cannot assume that he cannot perform or fake the performance of other miracles.
The threshold of proof is so easy, why do we avoid it?
It is because the bar of faith is set so low because the efforts are ours? So we have much more failures than successes which are worse than drug companies, and so much randomness about who will be healed that we do not set up real scientific proofs because they will fail.
Consequently, all we have are the cheap versions of unverified and unverifiable proofs accepted by the gullible Christian groupies on Christian networks limping from one healing crusade to another.
Physical Manifestations Of An Encounter With God
Sometimes, one who has an encounter with God has an accompanying physical manifestation that represents His throne.
- Fire. God is covered in light (shekinah Glory) and a river of fire flows out of the throne of God. (Daniel 7: 9-10)
- Fire. The disciples had tongues of fire above their heads at Pentecost.
And there appeared to them tongues of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
- Light. Moses had a glow on his face after coming from Sinai. He had to hide his face from the people.
... Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him.
... the sons of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone. So Moses would replace the veil over his face until he went in to speak with Him.
(Exodus 34: 29, 35)
- Air. God has the breath of life (Genesis 2: 7).
- Wind. At Pentecost they heard the wind.
And suddenly there came from heaven, a noise, like a violent rushing wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
(Acts 2: 2)
Prophets sometimes stop breathing. Since they are possessed with the Spirit who has the breath of life, they are physically sustained by this spiritual being.
Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision. while the men who were with me did not see the vision;
nevertheless a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves.
So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength.
... As for me, there remains just now no strength in me, nor has any breath been left in me.
... I fell into a deep sleep on my face ...
(Daniel 10: 7-9, 17)
Another characteristic is a sudden deep sleep or trance. People near by might sense great fear.
- Water. A river of water flows out of God's throne (Revelation 22: 1). Baptism represents cleansing by the Holy Spirit.
- Rock. The throne of God was a blue stone (Ezekiel 1: 26). During the exodus Jesus appeared as a Rock that gave the water of life (1 Corinthians 10: 1-4,11). This Rock destroys the earth at the Second Coming.
Miracles As Advanced Science
While critics prefer to claim that the miracles were a fraud and a hoax or myths or the mad ravings of stupid people, some of these miracles could be understood by advanced science just as current science and technology would seem like impossible witchcraft only 400 years ago.
- Modern Technology. Imagine describing the following technology to someone 400 years ago.
- Airplane. 189 people can fly in a horseless or birdless wagon that is heavier than 1251 people without falling out of the sky.
- Wireless Telephony. We can talk in real time to each other and see each other from any distance without anyone else hearing, without shouting in a very loud voice without sliding notes and pictures on a wire.
This is not an attempt to show how God performed the miracle, but to show that with the right technology certain actions might seem miraculous to people with less knowledge.
At a minimum, the miracles prove that Jesus was in possession of superior technology.
If we believe it is not foolish to search for extra-terrestrial intelligence then it is certainly plausible that 2000 years ago such people with this technology existed.
So practically nothing is impossible if you have the correct knowledge and power.
So it is arrogant to claim that it could not be done just because you do not have the ability or the capacity to visualize what is possible or the humility to realize that you are a worm on a planet of primitive humans, incapable of conceiving or understanding any reality outside your intellectual cocoon.
- Virgin Birth. Cloning, parthenogenesis and in vitro fertilization are all methods to make a virgin pregnant. Parthenogenesis should only produce girls but all other methods can produce boys.
It should be possible to use a needle that is fine enough to deliver the fertilized egg to the womb through the hymen and leave it intact.
Therefore the woman is not only a virgin but with evidence of her virginity still intact.
- Invisibility. The military is experimenting with technology that can give individuals some cloak of invisibility by using materials that bend the light.
- Tongues. "Idiot savants" show an amazing ability to instantly learn something after only hearing it once.
This shows the untapped capacity of the brain. God can immediately store all this knowledge in the brain.
- Walking Through Walls. In particle physics most of matter is empty space in which the concrete particles are far apart.
It should be possible to weave one particle through another like jello through a seive.
- Walking On Water. We reduced the size of a computer from a giant machine which filled several rooms to something in the palm of the hand.
It should be possible to reduce motors by such scale. If so, then one could attach tiny motors to an individual flight suit so that someone could just hover on the surface.
- Rapture (Floating Up Through Outer Space). Someone with control over the gravitational constant can accomplish this act.
However, it needs to be an ability that can be controlled individually.
Once again our tiny motors can accomplish this but we need tremendous power to overcome the gravitational force and we need to provide a survivable environment in a transparent bubble that is close to the body.
- Healing. Our modern medical technology cannot produce the instantaneous results that Jesus did.
He was the first doctor to use telemedicine by curing from a distance.
However, we are using several surgical, computer, pharmaceutical and genetic therapies to heal formerly incurable diseases.
- Parting Waters. God used the wind. A giant wind machine can create enough force to move water.
- Turning Water To Wine.
The elements in wine are (C, H, O, N, Cl, Na, K, P, S, Fe).
Jesus could have used nucleosynthesis to create the elements needed or He could have used what was available.
He had water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen from the air and elements in the clay pottery jar that held the wine, ash and soot from a lantern and wooden or iron ladel.
Air and Water (C, H, O, N) Salt (Na, Cl) Wood or wood ash (K, P, S, Fe, Na, Cl, C) Ladel (Fe).
Non-alcoholic wine is 70-80% water, glucose [C6H12O6] and fructose [C6H12O6], tartaric acid [C4H6O6], malic acid [C4H6O5] and some citric acid.
anthocyanins and tannins.
The minerals potassium, sodium, iron, phosphates, sulfate, and chloride.
Complex polysaccharides made of galacturonic acid [C6H10)7].
Aroma compounds (2-methoxy-3-isobutyl pyrazine [C9H14N2O], 4-vinylguaiacol [C9H10O2] and 4-vinylphenol [C8H8O] and terpenes [(C5H8) units]).
Five chemicals contribute the highest percentages to the total volatiles.
These are ethyl butyrate [C6H12O2], benzoic acid [C7H6O2], methyl anthranilate [C8H9NO2], dimethyl anthranilate [C9H11NO2], and ethyl dodecanoate [C12H24O2].
- The Floating City (New Jerusalem). We know space travel is possible. So with the proper amount of energy and engineering skills anything of any size and weight can be lifted and transported.
- Stopping The Sun And Moon. This is a giant engineering feat worthy of the designer of the universe who can change the gravitational constant.
From the description it sounds like the sun continued on its path while the moon and earth changed their rotation.
- No Light From The Sun During A Full Moon. Under these conditions a solar eclipse by the moon is impossible. God could put another giant object between the earth and the sun but its mass might cause other effects.
So another technique would be to cause a sunspot over half the surface of the sun.
- Raising The Dead. Although we are experimenting with cryogenics, we cannot accomplish what God is doing.
However, if someone has a sample of our DNA and if the information stored in our brains could be downloaded like a computer, then it is possible to create a clone, repair damaged DNA and reboot it with our memories.
We have not unlocked the secrets behind the data protocols, the storage and retrieval of memory but I doubt any scientist will mock my claim that this could be possible.
The Greatest Evangelistic Team With The Greatest Message
The Greatest Works.
Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father.
(John 14: 12)
Jesus said that we will do greater works than He did. What are the possibilities?
|Possible Instantaneous Miracles|
|Jesus' Miracles ||Greater Miracles ||Greatest Miracles|
|Church Planting ||Leadership gifts with power ||Persuade non-members |
|Church Building ||Teaching gifts with wisdom /discernment ||Persuade members |
|Guidance Gifts ||Perseverance gift with knowledge ||Battle Satan and the unseen forces |
|Proof Of God ||Undo destruction ||Creation miracles. Move or create mountains|
|Calm Nature ||Calm rain, quakes, wind, snow, waves ||Calm or cause hurricanes, part seas, quakes, volcanos|
|Multiply Food ||Replicate any object of any size ||Restore deserts and planets|
|Knowledge ||Instant knowledge of all science, wisdom ||God, future, read minds, read electronics |
| ||Use any sense to interpret other senses ||Sight and sound by touch. Move objects by sound|
|Blind See ||Enhanced Color and distance ||All senses detect a wider electromagnetic spectrum|
| ||See through solid objects ||All senses detect spiritual realm|
|Deaf Hear ||Enhanced distance ||Hear thoughts, hear electronic communication|
|Dumb Speak ||Sing all ranges ||Sing all ranges and instruments simultaneously|
|Tongues ||The gifted understand all languages ||Babel Reversed. All people understand one language|
|Healing ||All acquired and congenital diseases ||Genetic mutation, mental and physical handicaps|
|Lame Walk ||Quadraplegic's Nerves cured ||Amputee limbs grow back|
| ||Amputee limbs grow, conjoined separated ||New or restored creation|
|Navigate Environments |
(Walk On Water)
|Walk on air ||Walk through dimensions|
| ||Walk on sharp or hot solid, liquid, gas||Flesh survives fire, bombs, boiling oil |
| ||Survive internal poison ||Walk through dense solid, hot Liquid, poison gas|
|Teleport ||Greater distances, instantaneous ||Teleport, beyond earth with no support equipment|
|Exorcism ||Remove the works and influence of Satan ||Defeat Satan in verbal and physical battles|
|Raise The Dead ||Resurrect ashes, decapitated, embalmed ||Resurrection, Translation, Rapture|
I believe in the ability of God to do anything.
So, although the vast majority of the church seems to be preoccupied with success in this world.
It is still possible for God to reach the entire world in one year by using a team of two or three people with the support of the local church, satellite and internet technology.
This team could preach the great message about the love of God and His desire for humans to live.
The hospitality of the local church could support the team and the new members by helping during and after the crusades.
Satellite technology would broadcast the services live and taped within the region.
Internet technology could be used as a low cost distribution network and to teach with the Holy Spirit guiding the reader.
With the ability to teleport and the gift of tongues, this evangelistic team could minister in six time zones in one day.
They could cover all nations in one year with a one week crusade preaching about the love of God.
They could cover all nations in fifty days with a one day crusade.
With a worldwide event that compels all nations and news media to capture the event, they could reach the entire world in one day.
Now imagine a team of 144,000 filled with the Holy Spirit.
Using the curiosity and publicity generated by the sign gifts (healing, raising the dead and other miracles), the
secular media would be begging to air these services at no cost.
Zechariah 12: 9-10 promises that God would pour out His Spirit in a spectacular way at the end of time so that Israel will
be converted in one day. This is all Israel, Christians and Jews.
That day will be soon.
God expects all Christians to work for His cause and tell others about His plan of salvation.
He helps us by sending us the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This is not given to every human being.
But every Christian receives this gift either at baptism or when the commitment to God is made.
While God can use the talent and abilities that you have acquired through study and experience, they are not gifts.
Sometimes God gives you gifts that enhance your talent. At other times, your gift may be improved by formal training.
But actually, it is most likely that your gift improves your formal training.
This is only because it gives you confidence that you are doing work that others recognize as valuable.
But in my experience, all the gifts that God ever gave me were totally opposite of my own abilities.
It is as if God is demonstrating to me that what I do is His work, not mine.
I can take no credit for the work because I am constantly aware that this ability did not come from within me.
It also appears that as you faithfully use the gifts that you have been given, that He will eventually add more.
I have a mixed bag of many gifts so I can comment on some of the surprising aspects.
When you have a gift you will know it. Most do not come with a declaration from God and the attending fire and thunder.
But you will know that something wonderful and strange has happened and you may even be tempted to think that something is wrong because it slightly alters your reality.
Some gifts appear to be on a continuum. You must receive one before the other.
Also, other gifts are clearly helped by other unrelated gifts.
While a person with the gift of knowledge may not be a prophet, a prophet must have some of the gift of knowledge.
A martyr must first have the gifts of faith and courage.
An exorcist must have faith, discernment and intercession.
While celibacy is not a prerequisite to any gift, it certainly helps if you can devote the time.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7: 14)
||Time: 80 minutes
Print: 15 pages
Updated : March 28, 2006. 2009
Credits: The Holy Spirit and personal experience.
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)
I recommend the book "Practical Spiritual Gifts" by James W. Zackrison, Pacific Press Publishing Association (1996)