The problem with Christianity is one thing: humans. We are prejudice, discriminatory, and racists. We’re quick to judge anything as negative, or at least sceptical, if we have not experienced it for ourselves. My wife is a Spaniard and it took three Thanksgivings before she’d even try a piece of pumpkin pie. Why? Because in Spain you have pumpkin soup or eat pumpkin seeds as a snack, but not pumpkin as a pie. It just wasn’t in her culture. Now she makes some of the best variety of pumpkin pies I’ve ever eaten and my belt testifies too loudly that point. In her eyes pumpkins were not for making pies. She had to overcome, learn and adapt. Humans are, for the most part, not amenable to change. Whatever we grew up with believing, tends to stay with us.
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
We Christians are judged by the world for our actions, like it or not, and we do the same thing to other Christians. But just like the world, Christians are fleshly in beliefs and in actions as well. Everything under the sun will be exploited and exaggerated. Healings are real. My wife was 100% healed from a condition I didn’t even know about until I had to translate a question from a Godly woman about my fiance’ neck. If it hadn’t happened to me, it would have stayed a belief “from the Bible” only. Yet there are “pastors” that pay people to be “healed” to boost ratings and rake in the money. That doesn’t make healings false.
Speaking in tongues is one way the Spirit prays through us for things our flesh would only get in the way.
Romans 8:26 (KJV)
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
It is also the means by which the Spirit communicates to someone you’re speaking to that neither of you speak a common language.
Acts 2:6 (KJV)
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Paul gives us guidelines for speaking in tongues but far too many that use it use it incorrectly, to make a show and bring attention to themselves instead of to Jesus. Paul says if tongues are used in public, they should be interpreted, otherwise, what good is it, except to communicate with God in your closet. As with a chaotic church service with people falling all over the place, or stoic church stifling the movement of the Holy Spirit, mob mentality tends to rule.
I absolutely LOVE John MacArthur! He’s an awesome teacher, but he doesn’t believe in the manifestations of the Spirit at all. I was like him until I experienced the Holy Spirit for myself. So who’s correct? We both are. See, all you have to do is look at creation and see the myriads of differences to understand that every human being is different. We’re even sealed as such by God in our fingerprints.
Job 37:7 (KJV)
He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.
Smith Wigglesworth was a great man of God in the early 20th century and has documented raisings of the dead, including his own wife. He healed tens of thousands and yet he could not heal his deaf daughter. God deals with us as differently as He does with creation. Even God’s choice to convey His message are from two diverse languages you can get on earth. Hebrew is a wonderfully creative language. Using root words, you can create your own word – much like we do in English using -gate to depict a scandal like Watergate, and people will understand you. Greek is a very structured language with a lot of rules, saying what it means and means what it says.
We claim to follow Christ, but most of the quotes we make from the Scriptures are from Paul. Paul was a radical. Paul only had the Hebrew Scriptures and yet we quote him more than anyone else, even Jesus. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Yet just as different creation is throughout the world, so is His dealings with us. What Paul said in his day cause him to end up in jail as well as all those that repeated his words. We have a promise from Joel that in the last days God would pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh.
Joel 2:28-32 (KJV)
And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
This started at Pentecost:
Acts 2:14-21 (KJV)
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all [ye] that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is [but] the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
But who said it ended? If it’s recorded in the Word of God then is can happen again. John warns us that the world could not contain all that there is to be written just about Jesus’ life on earth, how can we dismiss what’s written of in the Word of God as being phoney baloney in the lives of people today? Enoch was raptured, was it only meant for him? Before Elijah, one could easily preach as such! But no, it’s not just for Enoch because Elijah was raptured. Jesus was raptured. Paul’s friend, John, Daniel, and Philip were raptured, albeit temporarily. So if someone talks about being translated, who are we to dismiss it as not possible just because we ourselves haven’t experienced it. Elijah saw the Lord’s army but his servant didn’t – until he prayed for him to see. So when someone says they see angles and you don’t, that doesn’t make them better than you and it doesn’t make you worse than them.
Hebrews 13:2 (KJV)
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
So if people have entertained angels unaware, some have entertained knowingly! In whatever you do, do it for the glory of the Lord. We are “sons of God” yet that title was reserved for the angles of the OT. Yet, that isn’t the end of us! There waits something else for us!
1 John 3:2 (KJV)
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
An amazing fact. But be content. If you’re happy with milk, enjoy the milk, get a milky mustache, and give thanks to God. If you want more, there’s more, take it. God loves you. Delight in Him and He’ll give you the desires of your heart, because your desire will be Him and He’ll come to you!
Hebrews 10:19-25 (ISV)
Therefore, my brothers, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great high priest over the household of God, let us continue to come near with sincere hearts in the full assurance that faith provides, because our hearts have been sprinkled clean from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us continue to hold firmly to the hope that we confess without wavering, for the one who made the promise is faithful. And let us continue to consider how to motivate one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another even more as you see the day of the Lord coming nearer.