Resurrection Power – Training to Raise The Dead

In this 2-part training series, the Inside Out Equipping Team teaches on how to raise the dead.  Inside Out Training and Equipping is a ministry founded by Cheryl Fritz.  The ministry is a free supernatural training school that uses Skype to disciple believers around the globe to do signs, wonders, miracles, healing, prophecy, and much more.  The speakers in this particular class all have some experience with raising the dead.

Visit their Website or join them on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Discernment according to the Bible while Keeping the Unity of the Believers

As Christians, we are called to love one another and build one another up in the faith. Jesus prayed concerning all believers: “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17: 23)

Unfortunately, as I research what God is doing in our day I come across too many Christians sitting around criticizing and condemning their brothers and sisters in Christ instead of building them up. This saddens me and I pray that the body of believers will come to love one another as Jesus desired. Only then will the world truly see Jesus in us.

There is a deep division in the body of Christ. Jesus warned that a house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe that there is room for disagreement and alternate perspectives within the body of Christ; but what worries me is when portions of the body begin attacking other portions of the body. These attacks come from deep-rooted misunderstanding of what the other members of the body stand for and confusion regarding how we are to discern whether a movement or a miracle is from God or not. My hope is that this article can bring understanding and ultimately unity to the body of Christ.

Two Perspectives

At issue here are two perspectives within Christianity:

On the one hand, there are the charismatic-leaning Christians who believe that supernatural giftings [Greek: khárisma] of the Holy Spirit as described in I Corinthians 12 and other places are still an important and valid part of the Christian life today . The charismatics believe that God is still speaking to his children and that God has empowered us to supernaturally do his work in the earth.

On the other hand, there are the cessationist-leaning Christians who tend to believe that after the canon of scripture was sealed God no longer needed to endow his church with miraculous supernatural giftings — that those giftings of the Holy Spirit have ceased to be a part of Christian life today. These brothers and sisters in Christ explain that those giftings were only meant to confirm the word of God as preached by the apostles and now that we have the full canon of scriptures there is no need for revelation of God’s truth and there is no need to confirm the revelation of God’s truth with signs and wonders.

seeing

Many cessationists are dedicated to protecting the Bible’s authority in the Christian’s life and are anxious to keep people from being misled by miracle working teachers who might lead people into false doctrine. They fear that people may trust the miracles as evidence of the teacher’s authority instead of relying on the Bible for that authority in a Christian’s life.

Some cessationists spend much time trying to cast doubt on miracles and when the miracles are convincing they argue that the source of the miracle-working power is demonic. They also like to discredit charismatic Christian men and women whose ministries are supernaturally empowered. They consider these Christian men and women to be dangerous to the faith.

I know that these people – who consider themselves to be apologists for the faith – sincerely believe that the charismatic Christians are in error. I pray that this article will help bring a better understanding of who the charismatics are and why they value the supernatural, miraculous power of God in their lives.  I also pray that all Christians – whether cessationist-leaning or charismatic-leaning – will give themselves over to the great command of Jesus to love one another.

Condemning and criticizing brothers and sisters in the faith does not display God’s love in our lives. We should love all of our brothers and sisters whether we agree with their theology or not. That means that charismatics should love even the brothers and sisters in Christ who criticize and attack our spiritual brothers and sisters. That means that cessationists should love the men and women who rely on the Holy Spirit’s power to share God’s good news with the hurting people of the world.

Furthermore, loving one another means that when any of our brothers or sisters – even one of our pastors or leaders of the faith – are caught in a sin we should not cast stones but we should seek true restoration for that person (Galations 6:1). We should follow Jesus’ example. He has never turned his back on us even though we have often let him down and fallen into sins. He has always been eager to embrace us and restore us and build us up.

Understanding These Two Perspectives

Having said that, let me shed some light on these two dominant perspectives found in Christianity. Let us seek understanding and come to love the hearts of our brothers and sisters – whether we agree with them or not.

perspective

Both charismatics and cessationists believe the Bible reliably reveals God, God’s love, and God’s way of salvation. Charismatics and cessationists trust the Bible to be our invaluable source of sound doctrine.

The cessationist might complain that charismatics allow for additional revelations besides the Bible. But to be fair we should point out that, although charismatics allow for the Holy Spirit to reveal truth and give guidance, they believe that any true revelation from God will not contradict what God has already revealed in scripture. In fact, charismatics teach that any true revelation from God will be supported and confirmed by scripture and will be consistent with what has already been revealed in scripture.

There is a fundamental difference in the way charismatics and cessationists approach the Bible. Charismatics notice that throughout the Bible people are having direct encounters with God. They see frequent miracles throughout the Old and New Testaments, they see personal guidance given to God’s people by God himself (for example see Acts 18:9 where the Lord spoke encouraging words to Paul in a vision), and they see verses seeming to indicate that all believers should function in the supernatural (see the last words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel According to Mark where he says believers will drive out demons, speak in new tongues, heal the sick by laying on of hands and so forth and see Jesus’ words recorded in John 14 where he says anyone who has faith in him will do what he has been doing and even greater things). Charismatics also see that Paul set a pattern for sharing the Gospel that worked very well for him: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” These words are found in I Corinthians 2. And again in Romans 15 he said “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done – by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit.” (also see I Corinthians 4:20 and I Thessalonians 1:4-5 for similar statements from Paul).

Charismatics see the Bible as a window into what Christians are to be like. They see people who experience God’s love in a personal and real way (Jesus said, “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him” John 14:21). These people in the Bible experience God’s love and healing and are set free from Satan’s kingdom of darkness. They are empowered to share Jesus’ love and grace with the world.

For charismatics it is not enough to know the stories and the truths of the Bible – they want to also live like the heroes of the faith, whom they see as biblical examples of what our relationship with God can be like.

Meanwhile some Christians (especially cessationists) treat the Bible as more of a history book that documents some unchanging truths. These Christians focus on believing the truths of the Bible but have trouble letting the supernatural experiences of the Bible off the pages into their own lives.

The 72 disciples found in the Bible who went out and healed people and cast out demons in Jesus’ name are not seen by cessationists as a model for today’s Christians. Instead, they are seen as a one-time, special-case, historical event. These Christians prefer to focus on theological truths regarding the process of salvation. They shy away from modern-day Christians with gifts of healing and prophecy for fear that these modern-day events and practices might get more attention than the historical events and teachings found in the Bible.

Some even go so far as to take scriptures out of context in an attempt to prove that these modern-day practicing Christians are illegitimate. An example of this is when they quote I Corinthians 13:8 – “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” – and say that this shows that prophecy and tongues were meant to cease in the church. They sidestep the problem that if this verse means what they say it does then knowledge should have also ceased in the church. Knowledge is of course very important to them. Meanwhile, knowledge joined with practice and experience are important to the charismatics.

To put things into perspective, consider two students of biology. They have both thoroughly studied the chapter of their textbook on animal dissection. One of the students does not get to have the experience of dissecting an animal but the other does. The student who dissects the pig finds it to be a messy, fascinating experience. He finds the experience much different than he had imagined it to be while he was studying the textbook. Not to say that the textbook was in error in any way. He simply found that the study joined with the experience led to the fullest and most meaningful education. One student can parrot the explanation from the textbook and has a very pristine and orderly view of dissection. The other student benefits from the raw experience of actually dissecting a pig according to the instructions found in the textbook.

How Big is that Box?

Whether cessationist-leaning OR charismatic-leaning Christians, believers nearly always have God inside a box. Some allow for bigger boxes for God than others but they have him in a box all the same. Many Christians feel like they know about God and they have him figured out. They feel qualified to determine if a message or a miracle came from God or not because they know what kinds of things God does and what he says.

Interestingly, these Christians usually do not have such a box for Satan. So, when something happens outside of their God-box, they say it couldn’t have been God and must have been the Devil.

boxes

One of the boxes that Christians have God in is no bigger than their pocket-sized Bibles. They have decided that God only does the things that were specifically recorded in the Bible.

For example, these Christians see people miraculously receiving gold fillings in their teeth and say that it couldn’t have been from God since that particular miracle was never recorded in the Bible.

Ironically this idea that God can only do the things that were written about in the canon of scripture is not taught anywhere in the Bible. God never put such a restraint on himself.

The scriptures were never intended to exhaustively reveal everything that our all-powerful, eternal God has done and will do. In fact, the Gospel of John concludes with this statement: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

This verse of scripture clearly indicates that the Bible is not intended to tell us everything that God has done. Furthermore, like I said before, there is no scripture that says that God will not do a new thing or that he is limited by what has been included in the canon of scriptures.

In fact, Psalm 115:3 puts it bluntly: “Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him.”

Also, notice that in John 14:12 Jesus says that his followers will do even greater things than he ever did during his ministry. So, Christians are not limited by what Jesus did. What he did was meant to be a foundation for us to build upon through our faith and reliance on God’s power and the Holy Spirit imparted to us.

Sadly, many Christians are experts in Biblical scholarship and know all the things in the Bible but when God does something in their lives they miss it because it doesn’t fit into their framework. To such people Jesus spoke this warning in John 5:39: “You diligently study the scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures that testify about me.”

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were very well studied scholars of scripture but they misunderstood what God was doing in their own day. They missed out on Jesus. They condemned him and accused him of doing miracles by Satan’s power because what Jesus was doing didn’t fit into their understanding of the scriptures. They had a chance to be intimately familiar with God in the flesh but they totally misunderstood him and plotted his destruction.

Let us discern correctly the moves of God in our day and be careful to not miss out on what God is doing now. God is active and anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear and understands what God is doing has the opportunity to join God in the mighty work he is doing in our generation!

Discerning the Genuine from the Counterfeit

We are commanded in scripture to be on guard against false teachings and are warned that just because miracles are performed does not necessarily mean the teacher is from God or is speaking the truth. In fact, we are told that the beast’s false prophet will perform great miraculous signs including calling down fire from heaven (Revelation 13:13 and 19:20). Jesus also warned that false messiahs and false prophets will come who will perform great signs and miracles to deceive God’s chosen people (Matthew 24:24).

So, what are we to do? Should we reject every wondrous sign and miracle and assume that all such things are from the enemy? Should we bury our heads in the pages of the Bible where we know the miracles and teachings are safe and reliable?

counterfeit

But don’t those very same pages in the Bible tell us that anyone who believes in Jesus will do the miracles that Jesus did and even greater ones? (John 14:12) Doesn’t Paul the Apostle instruct the believers to eagerly desire spiritual gifts? (1 Corinthians 14:1)

Is it right to ignore the parts of scripture that don’t match our personal experiences? Should we discourage Christians who are walking out spiritual truths that we are uncomfortable with? Should we reject anything supernatural for fear that it may come from evil spirits instead of the Holy Spirit and God’s holy angels?

In their eagerness to avoid being misled, some Christians tend to label every supernatural miracle as being a counterfeit miracle. And, in fact, there may very well be counterfeit miracles as scripture clearly warns us: ‘The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.’ (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)

But, please keep in mind that for there to be a counterfeit there must also be the real thing that the counterfeit is modeled after. God is the creator; not Satan.

God is the creator. God specializes in creating. That is what comes naturally to him.

Satan, on the other hand, can steal what God created, he can kill what God created, and he can destroy what God created (John 10:10). He can even counterfeit God’s creations. But let’s not give Satan credit for creating a new miracle. God is the creator. Satan is the thief.

God created every kind of miracle and supernatural wonder. Satan is not creative at all. He can only produce weak forgeries of the true wonders of God. Name any supernatural work that devils do and I can point to the real thing in Jesus. Psychic readings? Those are cheap counterfeits of true prophecy. The beast’s false prophet calling fire down from heaven? That is just a copy of what God already did numerous times in the Old Testament. Levitating a few feet of the ground by demonic power? That is wimpy compared to Jesus walking on water and ascending all the way up into the clouds to return to heaven. Every counterfeit miracle and sign and wonder demonically produced has a very real counterpart with its origins in God’s power.

Let’s also consider that only truly valuable things are counterfeited. For example, do we have a problem with forgeries of pennies? No! We have forgeries of $100 bills. Do we have counterfeits of brown paper bags? No! We have forgeries of masterpiece paintings. If it is truly valuable then you can expect someone to try to counterfeit it. The fact that signs and wonders are counterfeited tells me that the real thing is valuable. And of course it is valuable because the real thing points to the power and presence of God in the lives of people on earth. Now, because there is forged money out there, will I reject all money? Of course not! Instead, if I don’t want to be deceived, I will learn how to discern if the money is real or counterfeit.

The Biblical Discernment Test

Now, in regards to discerning the current moves of God, the Bible gives us some clear instructions.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 that we can judge whether a tree is good or bad by its fruit. So, true teachers and miracles from God should cause people to have positively changed lives given over to the fruit of the Holy Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Furthermore, in I John 4 we are told that we can know if a spirit (and incidentally a prophet) is from God or not by whether the spirit honors Jesus for who he really is or not.

Also remember what Jesus said when he was accused of doing miracles by the power of demons. He explained in Mark 3 that there are two kingdoms at war and that we can know which kingdom is sponsoring a move by determining which kingdom is being attacked. So, in the case of Jesus driving out demons, it is evident that the kingdom being attacked is Satan’s kingdom which would indicate that God’s kingdom is sponsoring the attack.

From this teaching we can learn if a movement is from God or from Satan by determining which side is taking a hit from the movement.

Jesus also warns us in this passage not to blaspheme the movement of God’s Spirit by giving Satan credit for what God is doing.

Often I hear my brothers and sisters giving credit to Satan’s minions for signs and wonders that are causing thousands of people to wholeheartedly give their lives to Jesus. Can I just point out that if demons are doing those miracles that they must be the stupidest demons ever?!? Why would a demon do a miracle that will cause people to stand in awe of God Almighty and to give praise to God Almighty and to commit their lives to God Almighty and to have increased faith in God Almighty?

Demons do not work to glorify God and lift up the name of Jesus Christ. But the Holy Spirit and God’s angels ARE working to glorify Jesus.

So, after looking at these scriptures, we can see that we can clearly discern the source of a spiritual movement or a miracle by asking a series of questions:

What is the fruit like? (Matthew 7:15-23)

Is Jesus honored for all that he is? (1 John 4:1-3)

Is Satan’s kingdom losing ground? (Mark 3:22-30)

Is Jesus’ kingdom gaining ground? (Mark 3:22-30)

And as we have already discussed, we can discern whether a teaching or revelation is from God by going back to scripture to check if the teaching or revelation is consistent with scripture. So, we will add one more question:

Is it consistent with scripture? (2 Timothy 3:16)

Now, let’s take a look at a particular Student Awakening that occurred on a campus several years ago. The primary theme of the Student Awakening was hearts being healed and discovering the love of Jesus in a very personal, real way. There were physical healings and students were set free from addictions. The net result was students falling in love with Jesus.

Now let’s apply the Bible’s discernment test…

Fruit of the Tree Good: YES

Jesus Honored for All  that He Is: YES

Satan’s Kingdom Losing Ground:  YES

Jesus’ Kingdom Gaining Ground: YES

Consistent with what is Revealed in Scripture: YES
(In scripture, God is revealed as a Healer who Loves Us)

That was fun. Now, let’s use our discernment test on a supernatural phenomenon occurring in modern times.

We will take a look at the manifestation of gold fillings as well as gold crowns. These are signs and wonders putting God’s mark on people in a way that can only be explained by the supernatural. These are very personal manifestations that tell the people to whom they occur that God is real and that God cares about them. In this way, God becomes a very real, powerful being in the lives of these people instead of an abstract idea somewhere up there in heaven. People are giving their lives over to God as they realize that He is extremely real and cares about them. Each time they look in the mirror and see the gold filling they remember that God does miracles in their life and they worship him and give Him all their worries.

Now let’s apply the Bible’s discernment test to these miracles…

Fruit of the Tree Good: YES

Jesus Honored for All  that He Is: YES

Satan’s Kingdom Losing Ground:  YES

Jesus’ Kingdom Gaining Ground: YES

Consistent with what is Revealed in Scripture: YES
(In scripture, God is revealed as a Healer who Cares about Each of Us)

Now, let’s look at one more spiritual movement.

There is a man in Florida named Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda who claims to be the modern-day manifestation of Jesus Christ. He also claims the title of Antichrist. He discourages anyone from worshiping the Jesus that most Christians worship since he believes that he is Jesus’ replacement and claims to be even better than Jesus. Furthermore, he teaches that there is no devil, no hell, and no sin – even murder is not a sin according to this man’s teaching. He encourages his followers to put away all feelings of guilt and to enjoy every pleasure that life has to offer including gluttony, satisfying all sexual appetites, and so on. He also teaches that there is no point in praying to God. His followers are encouraged to demonstrate against Christian churches and whole Christian denominations because they are classified by him as false religions.

Now, let’s apply the Bible’s discernment test to this movement:

Fruit of the Tree Good: NO

Jesus Honored for All  that He Is: NO

Satan’s Kingdom Losing Ground:  NO

Jesus’ Kingdom Gaining Ground: NO

Consistent with what is Revealed in Scripture: NO
(In scripture, there is only one Jesus Christ and his true followers live lives of love and holiness)

This test can be easily applied to any supernatural or prophetic movement. Just be careful to look at the evidence without your personal theology and biases coloring your perspective.

Examine scripture to see if a movement or a message clearly contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ and the early apostles or not. While you are studying the scriptures, remember to be open to seeing the scriptures in a fresh light and be careful to comprehend the point of what the writer of the scripture was really trying to say.

Jose Miranda, mentioned above, tries to confuse people by quoting from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians where it says “everything is permissible.” He takes these words out of context to scripturally support his teaching that there is no sin. He conveniently ignores that Paul is actually quoting other people in that verse and he ignores the many verses warning against immoral living — even in the same chapter.

We can also see that Jose’s claims directly contradict Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24: “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

 Can You Recognize the Children of God?

Our biases and personal experiences often cause us to make wrong judgments. For example, imagine you are worshiping in your usual spot in your church one Sunday morning when you see a man fall to his knees and begin shaking and crying and then laughing. We can only see in the natural realm and too often we make spiritual judgments based on our five natural senses. We might even throw in some scripture to justify our judgments. We might think to ourselves, “That man is not being self-controlled and he is not worshiping in an orderly fashion.” In this way, we stand in judgment over that man based on our superficial understanding of what is happening. We can only see what is happening on the outside in the realm of nature. What we don’t know is that this man is having a supernatural encounter with Jesus. If we saw Jesus like this man was seeing him and if we were being radically set free from the wounds of past trauma like this man, we would understand how appropriate it is to be on our knees shaking with strong emotions before the feet of the Living God who created the universe and has poured out his life on the cross to rescue us into his heavenly kingdom.

Please beware of nitpicking a true work of God. Don’t miss out on supporting a genuine move of God in our day.

The Bible encourages us to discern, but we need to be able to discern correctly. We should follow the biblical discernment test outlined above so we don’t fall into the trap of the Pharisees who called the true work of God in their day the work of Satan and became guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, they rejected Jesus Christ the Son of God. How many children of God have we rejected and criticized because we were judging them by our personal standards instead of following the Bible’s discernment test?

I love all of my brothers and sisters in Christ and plead with each one of you to be slow to condemn the men and women who are trying to serve God. No one except Jesus is perfect. But isn’t the Good News that we are loved and accepted by God through Christ’s finished work on the cross despite our imperfections? Isn’t it wonderful that God has chosen to use imperfect jars of clay to carry his treasures? (2 Corinthians 4:7)

children

Let us carry in our lives the attitude of Christ who looked down from the cross to those mocking him and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

I am so glad that we serve a merciful God who is eager to forgive us of all our sins. He knows our hearts and understands our motives, but he wants to give us his heart and he wants his goals to be what drives us. Let’s put away our divisive attitudes and truly love and lift one another up in the spirit of humility and grace.

The standard for our unity is the unity between the Son and the Father in the holy trinity. Hear Jesus’ words: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their [the apostle’s] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21) Now, Jesus and God the Father enjoy complete harmony and unity and share a single purpose. Jesus desires that we all get along with one another and support one another just as Jesus and the Father are completely unified. Furthermore, we are meant to be completely unified with Jesus and the Father. All of us – Jesus, the Father, you, and me – share the same Spirit and should be completely unified. When this happens, the world will truly see the body of Christ in the earth.

Commanding a Tornado to Leave

A tornado is seen growing in strength and coming toward a group of Christians in the Philippines. They pray in tongues to command it to leave and their prayers drive the tornado back into the sky.

Let this be a reminder that Christ commanded the storm to be still and it obeyed. Later Christ told his disciples that whatever miracles he did they and other believers would also do — and they would even do greater miracles than him too.

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
~ words of Jesus Christ as recorded in John 14:11-14

Who I Am In Christ

Throughout the Apostolic letters — epistles — of the New Testament we find references to us being in Christ and what that means to who we are.

Here are a couple of examples:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  ~ 1 Corinthians 5:17

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. ~ Galatians 3:26-27

As long as we are IN CHRIST, we share in who Christ is. Christ becomes our new identity. We come to share in Christ’s attributes.

Some of the attributes we share with Christ are as follows:

Child of God

What scripture says about Christ Jesus

No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. ~ John 1:18

What scripture says about those who are In Christ

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. ~ Romans 8:29

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. ~ John 1:12-13

Righteous

What scripture says about Christ Jesus and those In Christ

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

Priest of God

What scripture says about Christ Jesus

Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. ~ Hebrews 7:26-28

What scripture says about those who are In Christ

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ~ 1 Peter 2:9

Temple of God

What scripture says about Christ Jesus

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. ~ John 2:19-21

What scripture says about those who are In Christ

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” ~ John 14:23

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Healer

What scripture says about Christ Jesus

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. ~ Matthew 9:35

What scripture says about those who are In Christ

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” ~  Christ Jesus in John 14:12

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. ~ James 5:16

Has Eternal Life

What scripture says about Christ Jesus and those In Christ

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. ~ 1 John 5:11-12

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” ~ John 11:25

“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. ~ Christ Jesus in John 14:19

Heir of God

What scripture says about Christ Jesus

But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. ~ Hebrews 1:2

What scripture says about those who are In Christ

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. ~ Romans 8:17

Enjoys Union with God

What scripture says about Christ Jesus

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” ~ John 14:9-10

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. ~ Colossians 2:9

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. ~ Hebrews 1:3

What scripture says about those who are In Christ

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. ~ John 14:20

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” ~ John 14:23

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. ~ 2 Peter 1:4

Lives in Heaven

What scripture says about Christ Jesus

That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. ~ Ephesians 1:19-21

What scripture says about those who are In Christ

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 2:6

Victor

What scripture says about Christ Jesus

Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:24-28

What scripture says about those who are In Christ

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. ~ Revelation 12:10-11

There are many more aspects of Christ that we share when we join ourselves with him. We bind ourselves with Christ through faith and by faith we participate in the life of Christ.

The sacrament of baptism is a dramatic illustration of the spiritual transaction taking place in our hearts: In Christ we die and are buried. We are dead and gone. In Christ we are raised up with New Life as New Beings. We are one with Christ and share in Christ’s life. Our previous life is dead and buried — it is done and away with. Because Christ lives, we live. We are completely new beings in Christ and take on the heart and mind and life of Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  ~ 1 Corinthians 5:17

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. ~ Galatians 3:26-27

heart-of-the-world

The Truth about Religious Spirits and How to Deal with Them

It is commonly believed that religious spirits are demons that promote the following characteristics in people: Judgementalism, Sel-Righteousness, Criticism of Others, Legalism, Divisiveness, Being Argumentative, Condemning of Others, and Intolerance of Differences. The favorite pastimes for afflicted individuals are Witch Hunts, Witch Burnings, and — when no witches can be found — Making Witches.

Monty Python witch hunt mob
Monty Python witch hunt mob

People who have discovered the amazing grace and unconditional love of God find the above attitudes to be very disturbing. One of my friends became so frustrated with these attitudes that he posted in exasperation:

DOES ANYONE HERE HAVE AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO DEAL WITH RELIGOUS SPIRIT DEMONS?????

If you are a Christian who finds yourself bothered by the judgmentalism and divisiveness of religious spirits, then you’ll want to read on. Here are some thoughts that may be helpful to you.

The Grace-Centered, Free Christian

You likely find judgmentalism, divisiveness, and anti-grace messages to be so repulsive because you have found the freedom that is found in Christ. You have discovered God’s unconditional and wonderful love and you have found out that nothing matters except Christ and your relationship to him. It is only in and through Christ that you have perfect relationship with God. There is nothing you can add to it or take from it. You know that all your righteous practices are like filthy rags. You know that it is Christ alone who makes you righteous.

Moreover, you have discovered just how completely righteous and holy and godly Christ has made you. You have discovered your sonship, your priesthood, that you are a co-heir with Christ and that you have the Holy Trinity in all their glory and power filling you and surrounding you. All of this gives you incredible freedom, joy, life, peace, and love – you have taken on the character of Christ and the fruit of the Holy Spirit is exhibited in your life: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.

Like a man freed from years of slavery, you absolutely hate and despise the chains that used to bind you and still bind much of your universal family. You know that those chains have no power for anyone who receives the freedom and life that God offers them through Christ Jesus so it pains you to see your family members continuing to be held back by relatively powerless chains. You want them free and cannot understand why they don’t call out to God and shake loose from the chains.

ball-and-chain

You are like the Apostle Paul in Galatians exasperated to see people who should be living as free men still living like slaves to rules of dos and dont’s–touch and don’t touch, associate and don’t associate, eat this and don’t eat that.

The Root of the Religious Mindset

People bound to religious rules of dos and don’ts are relying on their rules to connect to God. They only feel made worthy to be connected to God BY spending X number of hours praying and reading the Bible, BY going to church service, BY wearing the right clothes, BY confessing the proper doctrines with their mouths, BY doing the right charitable acts, BY tithing X dollars, BY so many things instead of BY CHRIST ALONE.

Moreover, these people continuously strive to maintain or achieve a connection with God BY condemning other people who have different ways of living their lives and different ways of connecting to God.

The very nature of the religious mindset you are finding troublesome is that these people have to believe that they have THE RIGHT beliefs and practices that ensure connection with God.

To prop up their belief that they have THE RIGHT beliefs and practices, they must insulate themselves from those with different beliefs and practices who are equally confident that they have THE RIGHT beliefs and practices connecting them to God. When they encounter someone with a different set of beliefs and practices who also claims to have a connection with God, they feel compelled to tear down the one who is different until that person also accepts what they consider to be THE RIGHT set of beliefs and practices. Their confidence is in their unique set of beliefs and practices and when others claim to be achieving the same goal with a different set of beliefs and practices it creates a conflict in their mind and brings out insecurities and they feel that they must resolve the difference by either coming into agreement on what THE RIGHT beliefs and practices are or to decide that one of the two parties has not actually received God’s approval and is to be condemned.

The Nature of the Religious Mindset

The religious, rule-oriented mindset is what you are confronting when you encounter a person who is divisive and judgmental in the religious realm. When you encounter someone saying that such and such is required to be godly, you naturally want to say NO IT ISN’T because your confidence is that it is Christ who connects us to God not any righteous acts of our own, which you know to be filthy rags in God’s sight. You put your confidence in Christ in you for salvation – not outward things like religious duties kept and right practices and rightly expressed words.

But when you suggest that there may be another way, the person caught in a religious mindset instantly becomes defensive. They feel that they must protect their set of right beliefs and practices and connection with God by condemning yours or condemning your relationship with God.

You tried to help them but then you just end up butting heads and feelings are hurt and no one is really helped.

You are fighting against a human mindset – the mindset of people who have been bound and blinded by the foolish doctrines and principles of this world.

I wish it was as easy as just casting the demons out. But it is a mindset problem and there is much human will and control there. Demons certainly promote the ideas that result in these mindsets, but the mindsets themselves are rooted in the mind, not in demons. If it was as easy as casting out demons, then Jesus could have changed the mindsets of all the Pharisees and Sadducees with one command. But most of them never changed and their confrontation with the freeing message of Christ only resulted in them hardening their hearts and becoming more and more offended, insulting, and murderous until Jesus and many of his followers – even to this day – were and still are being hung on a cross by offended religious people.

Christ Confronts the Religious Mindset

The Pharisees and Sadducees worked to have Jesus Christ crucified because Jesus was a threat to their religious rules and their religious mindsets. Jesus was constantly making People and Love a priority over Rules and Regulations. When Jesus saw religious rules that were not helpful in particular situations, he dismissed the rules and helped the people. His priority was always people and individual needs. Picking grain on the Sabbath, healing on the Sabbath, coming in contact with a leper and woman with issues of blood, rescuing a woman from her penalty of being stoned to death for adultery are some examples of Jesus’s priority of people coming in conflict with the religious folks’ priority of rule keeping.

In Matthew 23 we can read a sermon by Jesus in which he calls out the Pharisees and Sadducees on their messed up priority of putting rules above people.

Why did Jesus confront the Pharisees and Sadducees, anyway?

Was it to change them?

I don’t think so. Jesus knew better.

It was because those religious leaders were the guards to the chains, so to speak. They were enforcing and promoting the religious do-this-and-don’t-do-that-to-be-loved-by-God mindset among the people at large.

By confronting the religious leaders, Jesus revealed to the general public the foolishness of the religious rule-oriented mindset and revealed to people the true loving heart of God the Father. Many people were set free in this way.

How to Deal with the Religious Mindset

If you are intent on changing those committed to the religious mindset, you are likely to wear yourself out and your joy in the Lord will likely be overshadowed by the constant discussions and debates you will be having.

To anyone willing to receive freedom, reveal to them the unconditional love and grace and blessing of God available to all of us – not because of our right set of beliefs and practices but because of Jesus Christ in whom alone we put our confidence.

It is the message of unconditional love of Father God that is most likely to undermine the religious performance oriented mindset – but it must be done in a way of sharing and revealing God’s love for the individual, not engaging in debate with them.

Trying to prove your point will only put them into a defensive posture and wear you out and put you in a position of being subjected to their attacks.

Share God’s love and freedom and blessing in Christ to all who are willing to hear it. Toss the seed on the ground and leave it to God as to which seed will sprout on good receptive ground and which will not.

Angels in Jordan’s Living Room — Watch them zoom around!

A couple weeks back when we had that really bad storm with tornados going through the United States, Jordan was at home with her children sitting in the dark because her electricity was out. She and her children started seeing angelic orbs flying around her living room. Fortunately for us, she was able to use her smart phone to capture a video of the angels flying around.

May you be blessed as you watch this rare footage of angels making themselves visible to bring encouragement and joy to one family — and to us too!

Unfortunately, the video above was taken down by the YouTube user in August 2014. We have added another video post that shows similar angelic orbs captured by another person’s video camera, and another one below in a time of grief and pain in another woman’s life, and the angelic orbs appearing was a great encouragement to them.

Leaping Across the Space-Time Continuum Via Supernatural Travel

There are many accounts from various sources of people and vehicles being physically transported through space and time in a supernatural way. In some cases, travel from point A to point B is occuring in tiny fractions of the time that should be possible. People are stepping through spiritual doorways and physically appearing in places on the other side of the planet for some spiritual meeting and then coming back in just a matter of an hour or so. There are instances of physical objects passing through one another without damage to either object. People are bi-locating so that they are in one place and in another country in the world at the same time doing completely different things.

Here I will share some of the documented time-space transport miracles and also provide some spiritual background to these by sharing the historical precedent for these as recorded in the pages of scripture.

bruce-allen-translation In the remarkable picture to the left, you can see Bruce Allen’s transparent body captured on film while he was bi-located in Idaho, USA and in the nation of Latvia at the same time. His written testimony about this incident is found on his website.

Before we move on from Bruce Allen who has become instrumental in teaching people about the spiritual basis and right for experiencing these spiritual transportation miracles, here is an interview and teaching by Bruce Allen.

Bruce Allen interviewed by Sid Roth regarding supernatural travel

 

Bruce Allen teaches on translation by faith (1 hr 48 min long – and you’ll wish it was even longer because it’s so good!)

A two-session teaching by Bruce Allen on Supernatural Translocation:

 

 

In the following interview on “It’s Supernatural” a woman tells about an experience wherein a truck sped through an intersection and went right through her car without hurting herself, her car, nor the other passengers.

Truck passes through a car and passengers — David Herzog with Sid Roth

 

David Herzog tells about driving through time warp

 

A young woman tells about her “quantum transport” experience

(Click on the title above to follow the link)

Joshua Mills gets supernaturally transported to China – part 1 of 2 (story starts 4:30 into video)

Joshua Mills gets supernaturally transported to China – part 2 of 2

Now, as promised, let’s take a brief survey of some of the ancient supernatural space-time travel precedents for today’s spiritual people:

One of the earliest examples of a person transported supernaturally is Enoch. Genesis 5 and Hebrews 11 say that Enoch walked with God but then he was nowhere to be found because God took him away. He was one who walked closely with God and then he ended up walking right out of this world hand in hand with God.

Another individual noted for space-time travel was Elijah. In 1 Kings 18 the prophet Obadiah told Elijah, “I don’t know where the Spirit of the Lord may carry you when I leave you.” Then, in 2 Kings 2 Elijah is finally carried away permanently in this scene worthy of cinema: “As Elijah and Elisha were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, ‘My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!’ And Elisha saw him no more.”

The prophet Ezekiel frequently describes in his writings that he was carried places by God. In Ezekiel 8 we read, for example, “I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Sovereign Lord came upon me there. I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man. From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal. He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem.”

Jumping forward to Christ Jesus we have some great examples of supernatural time-space travel starting with when Jesus walked right through an angry crowd wanting to throw him off a cliff (Luke 4). The gospels Mark 6 and John 6 record an incident where Jesus sends his disciples on a boat trip across a large lake. Jesus stays behind to pray on a mountain. A storm comes up on the lake and the disciples are stuck in the middle of the lake trying to row against strong winds and powerful waves. Jesus who is still on the mountain supernaturally sees his disciples struggling to get across the lake and so Jesus walks out onto the lake and meets his disciples in the middle of the lake. He gets in the boat, and instantly the entire boat and all its occupants are instantly transported to the lakeshore the disciples had been trying to reach.

Luke 24 tells about an incident when Jesus is having a meal with two guys and then Jesus disappears right in front of them. A little later, Jesus’s disciples were staying in a locked home and Jesus appeared out of thin air right in front of them (John 20).

Later, we read in Acts 8 about a guy named Philip who was going where the Holy Spirit told him and after he completed his spiritual assignment he was whisked away by the Holy Spirit and then appeared in a town miles away.

Here is a great article called Portals of Heaven, Ancient Gates that addresses the Biblical concept of spiritual gateways.

I hope you have been inspired to journey with God — it is a wonderful and exciting adventure.