The real fiery holy Ghost

“His grandmother was a fire brand. They believed in the real fiery holy Ghost, a real moving of the Holy Ghost in meetings, as a young boy [Wigglesworth] sat in those meetings, they would dance around that fire in the middle of the room, praising God, he was raised in that environment” Keith Malcomson the author of Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered.

Smith Wigglesworth would say to blind people “I know that you will see” and he lay his hands on them and they would. Yet his daughter was profoundly deaf and never got healed. Wigglesworth himself suffered from kidney stones and would be sometimes preaching in acute pain.

William Branham delivering unbelievably accurate word of knowledge.

 

T L Osborn’s daughter? Praying for the sick….tones of miracles

 

 

 

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You can quote me on that (part 5)

Here are some more quotes I have picked up recently:

I don’t play the piano to prove that I have fingers. Yes, of course, I have fingers, but I play the piano because I love music. Jesus doesn’t set the captives free and heal the sick to prove anything. HE DOES IT BECAUSE HE LOVES US. Understood? REINHARD BONNKE

The most incomprehensible things about the universe is that it is comprehensible Albert Einstein

God said it, I believe it, that settles it. Smith Wigglesworth

The human capacity for guilt is such the people can always find ways to blame themselves. Page 17 Stephen Hawkins “The Grand Design”

Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest Saint upon his knees William Cowper

The Cross of Christ is the biggest Plus-Sign. For example: I alone am lost. But I + Jesus equal a child of God. I alone am weak. But I + Jesus equal more than a conqueror, etc. Okay? Be blessed. REINHARD BONNKE

There are no crown bearers in heaven that were not cross bearers on earth. Spurgeon

I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Napoleon Bonaparte

Favourite Twitter Pseudo Motivational phrase of the day: ‘Don’t be needy, be succeedy!’ lexloiz

Whatever u intend to do with your life -do it NOW. “Don’t boast about tomorrow; You don’t know what will happen” Pr.27:1 RickWarren

Getting into the boat

I’ve been on a bit of a book binge recently. I’ve been preparing for tomorrows preach and generally stocking up on books about healing plus trying to get up to speed on the doctrine of the church for some teaching I’m doing in a few weeks time. I thought I’d list some of the healing books here in case you’re interested (they are all great):

Authority to Heal by Ken Blue

Power healing by John Wimber

In pursuit of the Miraculous by Roy Todd

The nearly perfect crime by Frances Nutt

The five attributes of a church in revival by David Carr

Healing and Deliverance by John Woolmer

healing today by Mark Stibbe and Marc Dupont

The shifting Shadows of Supernatural Power by Julia Loren, Bill Johnson and Mahesh Chavda

Shaping history though prayer and fasting, by Derek Prince

Expecting Miracles by Heidi and Rolland Baker

God can do it again by Kathryn Kuhlman

Supernatural power of a transformed Mind by Bill Johnson

Smith Wigglesworth on Healing by Smith Wigglesworth

The fact that as I type pain is increasing in my arms shows that the possession and even reading of all these books in not enough! I hope though that in reading them and filling my mind with scripture and testimony of Gods healing power my faith will increase to see more people healed.

Faith is a mysterious thing but a real thing nonetheless. It is not a vague hope, but something solid, that sits in the soul and refuses to budge even when the rest of the world laughs. Experience can stretch it up or squash it down but the substance of it is grows from God’s Word. The above books are really helpful but there is another in a category of its own that can do what no other book can. It is of course:

The bible by God

I was asked recently what one of my most significant transformational moment as a Christian was. It happened a few months ago when I realised that whoever wrote the Bible really wanted the reader to have a massive expectation of healing. Either that or they were grossly negligent in what they wrote. Since its God who caused every jot and tittle to be written down the only conclusion is that God wants me to have a massive expectation that he is going to heal people as I step out in faith.

That simple penny dropping hermeneutical moment changed everything for me. As the dust settled I found something new in me. Faith for healing.

It feels strange. Its as if having wobbled for a while with one foot on the bank and one in a rowing boat I am now sitting down in the boat clutching the sides as it drifts off from the bank. I don’t know how to row, I’m still wobbling, but I am all in. It feels different to have water support you than solid ground. Suddenly there are forces upon you other than those you put in motion yourself with your legs. There are currents, there are waves, and there is wind. You have to start using different limbs to move and figure out how the ores work. Oh, and you go backwards. And you risk looking very silly if you fall over board.

Tomorrow we I will have that feeling again as I step out of the natural into the supernatural and pray for people to be healed. If I’ve been a bit poetic with the boat thing, then perhaps Ken Blue explains it better:

“Christian healing is a mystery which cannot be controlled by applying some cause and effect formula. Those who pray for the sick entre an unseen world of spiritual forces which cannot be fully comprehended. It is at once fellowship with God in his work and warfare against the lawless destruction of evil. Those who risk entering this realm expose themselves and the ones they pray for to the possibility of humiliation and defeat without ever knowing why. This personal investment, which I label faith, is present in all healing ministries.” Ken Blue, A to heal p123

Now I need to prune my preach so there’s time to pray for people at the end!

Forgetting what is behind and pressing forward

Just been thinking a bit lately about how to persevere in faith for breakthrough in general and healing in particular. I think our enemy would like us to focus on past failures or times when things didn’t work out how we hoped, or prayed for.

I am feeling less inclined to give much time in my head for the past. It sounds odd as we talk about “learning from experience” but its just that I am more  enthusiastic about looking at God’s word. Experience will catch up at some point I expect.

Experience says no one gets healed when you pray, God’s word says “these signs will accompany those who believe they will lay their hands on the sick and they will get well, ask and you will receive, pray for one another to be healed, the prayer of faith will make the sick well, you may ask for anything in my name and I will do it, say to this mountain move and it will move, you will do greater things than these,…”. Its like Gods word is the water in a dam that is building up and up with increasing pressure against the wall. Cracks appear. It’s going to break any minute. We will see masses of people healed as God power crashes into our experience.

Another thing that can dampen faith is the thought, again based on experience, that it will take years of prayer and fasting and calling out to God, and a trail of failure and sickness and even death before we start seeing people healed. That’s rubbish. It squashes faith. It makes me think I’ve got to pray for people for over a year expecting nothing to happen until we have proved to God how keen we are or how faithful we are. No, the next time I pray for someone I expect them to get healed because that’s the expectation that God’s word gives me. Past experience can be consigned to the dustbin of history. These days failure seems to stimulate me to fiercer warfare and higher expectation as I see a larger gulf between my experience and Gods word. I want to move into the future looking at God’s word to shape my expectation. That seem to me to be a great way to persevere even if it does take time.

Bill Jonson says of people like Smith Wigglesworth, Aimee McPherson, A. B. Simpson, John G Lake :

“they were fed up with seeing one standard in the Bible and another standard in their experience”. He goes on “that discontentment caused them to move dangerously into territory that had been inhabited by violent beasts, if you will, and so they began to posses territory that had not been possessed by any one continuously since the days of the apostles. They did it at great personal risk and sacrifice, and entered into things that where completely unknown to the church at the time.” page 158.

I too am very discontented. Didn’t Bill Hybles coin a term “Holy Discontent”? It very helpfully puts a label on the feeling you get when you see something and you know its not what God wants. When you start feeling that way it cannot stay like that for long.

Another thing that can dampen faith is the thought that “God won’t use me”. He will use someone else. It’s hard to “eagerly desire spiritual gifts” if you are thinking all the time that he won’t give you anything. There’s no faith in that at all. No, I should desire, then ask, then expect. I must not get too deflected back on my own merit and ability and even the need for prayer and preparation (although I find myself increasingly giving myself to these things these days). All that’s needed is faith as small as a mustard seed. Sure some demonic influences are only broken by prayer and fasting but the implication is that many don’t need that! There is power in the name of Jesus!

One final thing that sometimes tempts me to turn back from an attitude of faith for healing is the thought that I should be putting Jesus first and focusing on that. Its sounds very persuasive but its actually an accusation in disguise to distract me. It infers that I am not putting Jesus first which I most defiantly am. I will not be distracted from something Jesus was so clear about by thoughts that I am not loving him enough. I love him and honour him and put him first by stepping out in obedience in this key area. Of course there as several things we need to keep in balance as Christians. That’s why I am so excited about preaching on this as the other guys take up complementary key strands of biblical truth. It’s a very safe, balanced context to do it in. Every three weeks or so I will preach on healing while the other two weeks Toby will look at characters from Acts and Goff will look at living in Christ.

A final word from Bill Johnson

“its not normal for a Christian to not have an appetite for the impossible. Its completely abnormal. It’s a deformity that comes through disappointment and or bad teaching”. p.165

I am resolved to preach on healing for a year, teaching into it and stepping out in it .

Oh and one final quote. One of my favourites:

“the real tragedy is not unanswered prayer. Its un-asked for prayer”.

I will not be enslaved by my past experience. Vindicate your word Lord God!