Is Your Pastor a Simon the Sorceror?

Acts 8:9-11: (NASB)

9 Now there was a certain man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city, and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great;
10 and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.”
11 And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts.

If you took the time to read the verses above and stopped to really think about it, you might come to the conclusion that we have many Simon the Sorcerors in the church today. 

How many men and women promote themselves by claiming they have God’s power and can dispense it at will?  How many claim to have health, wealth, and wisdom?  How many bill themselves with bombastic titles like prophet, prophetess, and apostle?  There are many.  There are also many who profess to take trips to Heaven, have visions of Jesus, and have encounters with angels with a frequency that is alarming.  Welcome to the church – THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH!

1 Corinthians 1:21 (NASB)

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

To maintain a healthy relationship with God, we’ve got to steer clear of false teaching and stand on Biblical truth.  I spoke with one pastor who regularly presents the gospel of Jesus Christ in verse-by-verse expository teaching, and he said his congregants set and flip through the hymnals, fall asleep, and stare off into space.  Another pastor told me that many times he taught the whole council of God from the Scriptures and the people staring back at him from the congregation were disinterested.  So, one night he decided to conduct a little experiment.  He walked down out of the pulpit and kicked the front pew and began to yell.  Someone in the back shouted.  The congregation snapped to life and suddenly became very interested.  Now, that was what they called church!!!  He continued to yell and kick the pew, and they continued to shout.  He preached the Word of God and they snoozed.  He kicked the pew and made a racket and they shouted.  He told me, “Nothing I said was Biblical, there wasn’t a bit of truth in it, but they shouted!”  Yes, they shouted, they praised God, and they showed their ignorance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They didn’t want the gospel… they wanted a real good, feel good show.

There are so many solid, orthodox ministers out there who refuse to compromise for fame or fortune.  They preach the Word of God with no mercenary motives – they do not want to be great or highly exalted among their peers.  Fame doesn’t tempt them, and fortune holds no glory.  They love God and love the gospel.  They strive to be like Christ, the head of all things.  But, there are many out there who can not be described as Christ-like.  When exposing them to the light of Scripture, it shows they are not like Jesus, but like Simon the Sorceror.

Here is what we know about Simon the Sorceror.  (Acts 8:9-11) He…

  • Practiced magic
  • Astonished the people with his magic arts
  • Claimed to be someone great

Here is how Scripture records the people reacting to Simon:

  • Gave attention to him
  • Believed he had the great power of God
  • Were seduced by his magic arts

Let’s take a look at some of the ministries of today’s teachers and see what we find.  Will they be like Christ, or like Simon the Sorceror?

C. Peter Wagner

Rick Joyner

Todd Bentley

Patricia King

 Mike Bickle

Stacey Campbell

Bill Johnson

Che Ahn

John Arnott

This is a sampling from just a few of the false teachers out there.  There are many, many more.

What you see being promoted is prophetic symbolism, fire, the supernatural… everything except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Given the evidence, these men and women are in no way Christ-like.  They are more representative of Simon the Sorceror, who exalted himself as someone who possessed the mighty power of God and dazzled the people with his magical arts, but in the end, his crafts had no power to save.  Only the gospel could do that, and it was through the foolishness of preaching (1 Cor. 1:21) that those he seduced with his wickedness were saved.

Thankfully, when Phillip preached the gospel, the people, as well as Simon, believed and were baptized. 

Acts 8:12: (NASB)

12 But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.
13 And even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip; and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed.

Yes, there is more to the story.  Simon observed the signs and wonders being performed by Peter and the other apostles and attempted to buy that power with money.  This resulted in him being sharply rebuked by Peter.

The point is, are you sitting under a Simon the Sorceror?  Does your pastor/teacher performs mystical tricks as evidence of his walk with God, or does he preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified?  Answering this question will speak volumes about the man (or woman) you sit under.  Will you listen?

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33 Responses to Is Your Pastor a Simon the Sorceror?

  1. Great article and admonition for these times.

  2. David T says:

    Right now I am not attending a Church due to the fall out from the last Church I was at. So I can say right now I am not sitting under a Simon the Sorcerer. Sadly though, right now, my life is fitting more like Simon’s, full of sin and anger and more.

    Thank you for sharing this Chrystal. Keep me in your prayers please, I have been going through much lately that I know has not been good for my soul and more.

  3. Grant says:

    How many of these books/teachings/schools/conferences do these guys think are needed-it’s about good ol’ money and trying to make a name for their big-headed selves

  4. Andrew says:

    I agree completely with the key points that you are making , but I do want to make a couple of comments.

    Firstly, a lot of pastors with sound theology do not have good communication skills. They come across as having no personality or passion for their faith. Yes, some of the problem is that the expectations of churchgoers are wrong, but that is only part of the picture. Pastors should be role models for their flocks, and, if I’m honest, I’ve seen many over the years that do not give a good impression.

    Just to make it clear, church is not entertainment and the pastor’s job is not to entertain the congregation. But that doesn’t excuse lifeless preaching. On the other hand, I strongly object to the style of pentecostal preaching you accurately describe which at best is a load of hot air with no substance and at the worst is false teaching. I’m also very unhappy with the idea of putting a pastor on a pedestal – if the church is focussed around its pastor, and he’s the only one who preaches, then I think something is wrong. The biblical model is that leadership is shared.

    Secondly, verse by verse exposition is not the only valid style of preaching. If we want to learn what the Bible says about a particular subject, for example, we have to take an overview. Expository preaching is just as much open to corruption and false teaching as any other style is.

  5. Eli says:

    I too now get my churching from the internet with self study, after I left my charasmatic church about a year ago. David T, I’ll lift you up in prayer.

  6. annunk says:

    Chrystal, excellent post.

    Sharing this with you – John refused to be exalted or promoted. He was emptied of “self” and continually withdrew from being “center stage”. In his own eyes the greatest of all prophets was not even worthy to be called a man of God—but only a wilderness voice, unconcerned about honor or usefulness. He didn’t care about having a ministry or being “mightily used of God.” In fact, he considered himself unworthy to even touch his Master’s shoes. His entire life was devoted to “the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).

    What a powerful rebuke to this age of self-occupation, promotion of personalities, influence-grabbing, ego-tripping, and honor seeking.

    John could have had it all, but he cried out, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). And to reach that goal, John kept reminding all who heard him, “I am just a voice.”

    David T, try to throw out everything you’ve been taught, told or are pondering that’s got you at such a low point. Say a short prayer to get you started, read James 1 and take it ‘one day at a time’. From experience, I can tell you that does work.

  7. annunk says:

    That first part was David Wilkerson – my bad.

  8. Joel Hansen says:

    The Simon the Sorcerer story is one of my favorite examples of a man with wrong motives for following God. It’s very sad, really. But we learn a lot from his bad example. We see the difference between real power(in the apostles) and the fake.

    I come from a small charismatic church that is a part of both Bill Johnson and Che Ahn’s networks(and actually, Stacy Campbell will be the guest speaker this Sunday). You may say I’m deceived, but I’ve never felt that what goes on in my church is “magic” or cheap tricks. It comes from God’s love. No one in my local body wants to promote themselves or gain money or prestige by God’s holy works. In fact, the man who walks in miracles the most is, I would say, the most humble of us all.

    You say preach Jesus Christ crucified and the Kingdom of God. I absolutely, %100 agree with you. Jesus said to do that(Mark 16:15)! He also said to make disciples(Matt. 28:19), forgive people’s sins(John 20:21) and that signs would accompany those who believe(Mark 16:17). They’re all part of our Christian walk.

    Miracles come from God alone(and are absolutely valid Biblically). Magic does not. Both of these exist, so we need the discernment to tell the difference.

    I hope you don’t misunderstand me. I love the Cross. The act that our Lord Jesus did there is our only way to Salvation. And we, as born-again children of God, are given power to overcome evil by the Holy Spirit. God has given us real life! Not that fake trash that Simon the Sorcerer used to throw around.

  9. Mike A says:

    Andrew echoed what I was thinking.

    I would only add that any one of us is subject to error. After all, why would we need grace if we now had all the answers………….

  10. Andrew says:

    To Joel Hansen, I know you feel differently, but there is overwhelming evidence that Bill Johnson, Che Ahn, and Stacey Campbell are deceivers. Look at the way they all promoted Todd Bentley and the events in Lakeland, for example. Concerned Christians left, right, and centre were saying “This is not of God”, but these three endorsed it and even prophesied all sorts of incredible things that were going to happen. Well, guess what, they were wrong. Completely wrong. Now, some could argue that these supposed “apostles” have no discernment whatsoever, which is a pretty sad indictment of people who claim to be leading examples of spirit-filled Christianity. In itself, that should make you want to avoid them. But I don’t think that is the right explanation. I think they knew full well that Lakeland was totally false and Todd was corrupt, but couldn’t oppose it because they would be condemning themselves if they did. Their style of Christianity is exactly the same as Todd’s, and if Todd fell, the whole house of cards would come crashing down. So they chose to continue the deception and protect their own ministries and careers, which are exactly the same as Simon the Sorcerer, selling the fake trash that you so rightly condemn.

  11. Recogniser of TRUTH says:

    If there is ANY doubt about Stacey Campbell being ‘Holy Spirit’ inspired versus counterfeit. please go to her performance on ‘youtube Stacey Campbell headbanger inc.’

    I’m sorry I tried to copy and paste it here but couldn’t, if anyone else can, please do, as it is a sight not easily forgotten…………sigh.

  12. Recogniser of TRUTH says:

    Thanks Chrystal (I am still the novice on the computer) :(

    Joel Hansen with all respect for you I say this…”if Stacey is coming to your church tomorrow, you will do well to stay away”. Surely you can detect the demonic in her here. It is not merely magic, but demonic/satanic/evil/hissing like THAT snake.

    While I was growing up I saw varied manifestations (not nearly as bad as this display) and they were promptly acted upon by leaders to ‘cast out in Jesus name’ (the REAL JESUS CHRIST that is).

    The precious name of JESUS is being reduced to sorcery in these last days and I truly cannot bear it. It is the name I love above every other name.

  13. Sevnth says:

    Whoa, Joel…. I’m frightened for you brother.
    I’m praying for you.
    Please leave that place long enough to see clearly, please.

    God Bless You.

  14. tellthetruth1 says:

    I didn’t even have to run that vid to know what was on it! I’m thankful to God that I don’t come across this stuff anymore. Those who are of God constantly warn about it. It’s best that we stay away from all of it lest we become partakers – so easily done: Rev 18:4-5; 1 Cor 10:whole chapter; and Eph 5:6-7.

  15. Crystal says:

    Thanks for this article as well. It is so true. I mean, what is a signs and wonder camp? What is a school of the spirit? None of this stuff is biblical but, it is FUNNY though; because those who study GOD’S word and are REALLY after the things of GOD can discern the folly/FOOLISHNESS behind this CRAP. It’s just funny how cunning and deceptive these people are or try to be. They only fool those that are just like themselves. People who TRULY want CHRIST seek to be HOLY. And when Patricia King says “Empowered By The Supernatural” what supernatural is she referring to/speaking about? This could mean Satan or GOD. I thank GOD for the TRUTH.

  16. David North says:

    It’s not funny at all.

    We “smart” Christians can sit back and say, “Wow–look at these stooges! How can they be so foolish?” but the fact is spiritual delusion is delusion.

    I grieve and worry for people in such places even while understanding God can still walk them through them but I also fear for those who casually dismiss these things as mere human stupidity and use them as opportunities to mock, belittle, criticise and impune other Christians simply for the sake of doing it.

    We aren’t wrestling with flesh and blood and it can be easy to be subtly led to sit in a soulish tower and claim “clarity” not realizing that our behavior towards others causes us to be succeptible to our own delusions–pride, indifference and religious arrogance.

    Point out the error but do so without ridicule and insult. It is simply a tragedy all around. people need to know but we also need to, “Look to ourselves lest we too be tempted.”.

  17. Sandy says:

    Don’t mean to pick on you, Joel, but what stuck out from your post is that you judge the works based upon what you feel…”I’ve never felt that what goes on in my church is “magic” or cheap tricks”. Satan is called the Great Deceiver for a reason. He’s really, really good at it. Don’t believe that you are free from deception simply because it feels right or spiritual or holy. I have friends who attend Bethel, and who love Christ and the cross just as much as you do. But they are completely blind to the false teaching that is presented there week after week. All you have to do is listen to the free weekly sermon online – if you can stomach it. Sure, there is a smattering of truth thrown in, and certainly they read Scripture, but they are masters at twisting it to give weight to their own pet thoughts and ideas. What better way for Satan to lure people away from the true gospel and the true Christ? Throw in some signs and wonders and the deceived will keep on coming.

    True humility involves complete submission to the Bible – which is what Christ gave us so that we can know who He is and who we are. Bill Johnson and other false teachers may have very humble demeanors and may be completely sincere, even without thought of profit, but they demand that Scripture submit to their own thoughts. Honestly, when you read their books and listen to their sermons, it appears that there are almost no aberrant teachings that infect the modern evangelical church that they HAVEN’T embraced. They make light of the fact that they are not thoroughly learned in theology or doctrine, and this infects their churches and leaves them completely devoid of discernment. All they have left to judge is their feelings and personal experience.

  18. unworthy1 says:

    Joel,
    I do not desire to attack you personally, please read my comment with the understanding that I desire for God to gift you with discernment.
    We cannot base our beliefs on what we feel or on emotions; both are ever-changing and lead us into false beliefs. You state this, ‘but I’ve never felt that what goes on in my church is “magic” or cheap tricks. It comes from God’s love.’ How do you know it comes from God’s love. Here is an example of the point I am trying to make, you never ‘felt'{based on YOUR emotions, your limited wisdom}. This is why we must weigh all things according to God’s word.

    I found this sermon by Dr. John MacArthur that I highly recommend to you Joel, here is a snip-it…
    “Some Christians just miracles and miracles and miracles. You turn on some of those television programs and there’s no end to it. In fact, you know what happens, you get so many of them none of them mean anything. None of them mean anything anyway. But if…there’s just no evidence that those are legitimate. God then has designed miracles for a single purpose to confirm His revelation. And once God has revealed Himself, then the miracles have no continuing purpose. For example, when God finished the Old Testament, the Old Testament was closed and done and set down. It’s a 400 year period of history between Old and New Testament when God didn’t particularly do anything. Certainly nothing miraculous. Then there is a New Testament. Miracles happen. The New Testament is finished, the book is closed, no more miracles.
    Now let me show you some verses. This is very important. Look at Mark 16:17. Now I know there’s a big debate about whether Mark 16:9 and following is in or out, and I don’t want to get into all of the technicalities of that. There is some recent evidence that even though it isn’t in two of the very most significant manuscripts, it is in others even older than that. And there are some folks who believe that it definitely should be included. I use it because it says the same thing several other passages will say and only emphasizes it. And if it is the truth of God and I always want to be sure I don’t leave anything out that shouldn’t be, so I’ll share it with you any way, but I feel that this helps to build together a total case. It isn’t the only Scripture or we wouldn’t be able to base it on this.
    But verse 17, He’s talking to His eleven, and He says, now you’re going to…there’s really nothing here that we should be concernedabout frankly. He says, you’re going to go out and preach. Now this is what’s going to happen when you preach. “These signs are going to follow those who believe.” Now this is for the apostles. “This is for those people in my name, I’m going to cast out demons and speak with new languages, take up snakes and if they drink any poison, it’ll not hurt them. They’ll lay hands on the sick and recover.” All right, miracles are going to accompany the apostolic gospel. As you go out and preach and people believe they’re going to see signs and wonders. Why? So the rest of the world will know this is the truth and that God is here and this is His word.
    So then verse 19, “After the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received into heaven and sat on the right hand of God.” Jesus left. Now watch verse 20. “And they went forth and preached everywhere. The Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following.” Now listen to me, how is the word of the apostles confirmed? With signs. God was attesting to their preaching just as He had attested to the deity of Christ by the signs and wonders and miracles. A miracle acts as a sign pointing to God’s revelation to create wonder in the minds of people. That’s how those three terms are used.
    So everywhere they went the Lord was confirming His word with signs. Listen to me, the Lord wants His word to be believed. He wants it confirmed and the miracles they did were confirming that this was God’s truth. Listen, when I get up and preach God’s truth to you, I don’t need any miracles because I have this revelation which substantiates itself and becomes the confirmer of my words. But in those days with no written revelation, miracles did that. And I want to take you a step further. Look at Acts 14:3. Acts 14:3, it says this. Here is a group of people leaving. “The unbelieving Jews,” verse 2, “stirred the Gentiles and made their minds evil against the brethren. A long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord who gave testimony unto the word of His grace.”—from John MacArthur’s ‘The Temporary Sign Gifts, pt. 1′. You may read the entire sermon here, http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/1856_The-Temporary-Sign-Gifts-Part-1?q=Mark+16+17

    I do pray the Lord will guide you in His truth

    Lyn

  19. Joel Hansen says:

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Sandy, thanks for your point. You’re absolutely right; we can’t base our judgments solely on feelings. We must judge by the Word. Emotions and feelings can definitely be manipulated easily. If, say, Elijah had lived by his feelings and not by faith, he probably would have given up and died long before he accomplished some of his great works. So, my words were not chosen well. In fact, I have a Biblical faith that the miracles I’ve seen are from God.

    unworthy1, thank you also, and thanks for praying for me. If Bill Johnson really is a deceiver, then I want to know. But I am not convinced of that yet. No offense to you or Dr. MacArthur, but I simply do not believe that the “time of miracles” has ended. Some of these signs being claimed in today’s world may be false; I’m open to that. But Biblically, in the Word itself, there is absolutely no evidence that any of the Spiritual gifts have ceased to exist(unless you interpret “the perfect” in 1 Cor. 13:10 to be the protestant canon, of course). God has performed miracles from Genesis through the whole New Testament. Why would he stop now?(Just a side note, how does Dr. MacArthur know that no miracles happened in the 400 year gap? Was John the Baptist’s conception the first miracle in 400 years?) James and Paul encourage healing as a normal part of Church practice. How can we pray for healing and not have the faith to believe that God will actually heal?

    About Mark 16:17. I’m sure all of you believe that demons still exist and possess(or oppress) people today. Now, I believe that demons can still be cast out of people(I really, really hope you do too). For today, why would God still cast out demons, but stop healing physical illness? May I testify to you all that He hasn’t. He is still a God Who performs miracles.

    Again, thank you all for your encouragement. Keep seeking Him and discerning!

  20. GR says:

    I think McCarthur is a great teacher but he is wrong about miracles. They do still happen and I have seen them. Real miracles, not the fake stuff that so many Charimatics and Pentecostals play with. What I have noticed about them occurring is that they have always followed the preaching of the true Gospel and have always happened off stage, so to speak. That is, quietly and without fuss. It was as if the Holy Spirit wanted to heal but not to take the focus away from the healer.

    Much of what is going on in the Church today is pure witchcraft and, I think, is part of the preparation for the final battle. It is mirrored in the worlds new and often frightening hatred for Christians and their attempts to shut down the Gospel. We are entering a new dark phase I believe and it is their hour. It will end with them seeming to prevail against the Church but, “the gates of hell shall NOT prevail against it.” This is why Christ asked if He would find faith on the earth when He returned.

    The Christian today must focus totally on the Word of God and not what is going on in these false “churches” and among these Simon’s. Leave them to it and look after your own soul. These purveyors of witchcraft are after destroying, not only the credibility of the Gospel itself, but the faith of those who are true to Christ.

    The spirit of anti Christ is on the rise but the Bible clearly warns this will happen in the last days. If you are in a Church where this is happening get out of there or risk being condemned with them. Be careful not to grieve the Spirit in your everyday life because the time will soon come when He is taken out of the way and those who are failthful will not be able to share what they have with you. You will have to go to those “who sell” and you will find that you are too late.

    I refuse to buy the truth from anyone. The Gospel was never meant to be a commodity to be bought and sold. “Freely you have recieved freely give.” But, in the Church today, it is hard for people (especially the poor) to hear the truth without a Bible in one hand and a credit card in the other. These foolish pastors should be ashamed but their greed is greater than their love. Their unbeleif greater than their faith. We have no need to purchace the truth because we have the Holy Spirit to teach us, if indeed we have Christ at all.

    God has sent these people a strong delusion and judgement BEGINS at the House of God. Therefore, if we are to remain strong in these last days we must look to our own obedience towards the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God does not give HIS power to disobedient children and we are going to need HIS power if we are to stand in these dark days. In all things, Christ must be glorified because He is not just the Lamb of God but also the Lion of Judah. When that Lion roars the world shall tremble in fear and mourning while the true Church is glorified. Come soon Lord Jesus. Amen

  21. unworthy1 says:

    You must study the miracles and healings in the context of God’s word, for instance, why did Jesus heal, or why did He cast out demons. These are valid questions one should ask. He did these works so that they may believe He was sent by God to the Jews, He was their prophesied Messiah. From John 10:38, ‘But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.’ The works Christ did were a sign to the Jews that the Father was in Him and that He’d come from the Father; that He was who He said He was. Many followed Him just for the miracles, healings, and food {John 6:26}. They weren’t interested in His real reason for coming, or His teachings. From John 2:23-25, ‘Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.’ Miracles and healings were for a specific time, to validate Christ’s identity and authority and that of the apostles. They’d been with God the Son and continued His work, the preaching of the Gospel, after His resurrection. Notice in Acts, when they started speaking in tongues, or other languages, the crowd was bewildered. Some mocked. But notice what the tongues speaking opens the door for…the preaching of the Gospel by Peter. This miracle came BEFORE Peter’s preaching; and how did they react. They were ‘cut to the heart’ and asked what they should do. God used this miracle to draw people to the hearing of the Gospel, He opened their eyes and ears, convicted them through His Spirit, and saved 3000 that day. That is the purpose of miracles concerning the apostles. When Peter healed the cripple and he walked, the people were amazed and came running to Peter and John. Peter says, ‘Men of Israel, why does this surprise you. Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we made this man walk. By faith in the name of Jesus this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.’ Acts 3:12, 16. Here again, God uses a miracle to draw the Jews to Peter to hear the preaching of the Gospel. So, when GR says this, ‘What I have noticed about them occurring is that they have always followed the preaching of the true Gospel and have always happened off stage, so to speak. That is, quietly and without fuss. It was as if the Holy Spirit wanted to heal but not to take the focus away from the healer.’–that’s not the pattern we find in the book of Acts. Miracles/healings first, then the preaching of the Gospel.

    As for the 400 year silence from Malachi to Matthew, how does anyone know that miracles happened. God was silent and didn’t record such events. If we don’t have His written word to validate, then we need not assume.

    Sadly, what most who are seeking physical healings, monetary blessings, and the like overlook is the GREATEST MIRACLE OF ALL, THE RE-BIRTHING OF THE SOUL BY THE SUPERNATURAL POWER OF GOD!!! What greater miracle is there than this! Don’t seek God for temporal reasons, i.e., healing from cancer, financial blessings, praying for Uncle Joe’s toe, etc…seek Him for eternal purposes. We must cry out to Him to be emptied of ‘self’, to walk humbly with Him, to serve Him, love Him, and desire Him with our WHOLE hearts. These are just some of the things we should desire.

    As for physical healings, I have yet to see one that isn’t phony. God does heal, He does spare us sorrow upon sorrow as He wills, but, only so He may get the glory do Him. In doing what He does, He shows His mercy. The fact that this world is still in existence this very moment is a huge miracle, considering the wickedness that fills it. BUT, God is revealing His mercy, love, and patience by not sending the full force of His wrath. Don’t be fooled, it’s coming…

    Lyn

  22. Joel Hansen says:

    Lyn, thanks again for your words. I agree that we should ask those questions you brought up. As to their answer, I believe there were multiple reasons. One, like you said, is so that some who wouldn’t believe the mere words could see the power of God and believe. That’s the main one: miracles are a testimony of Christ. Another reason Jesus healed is because people asked him in faith(blind Bartimaeus, the Canaanite woman), and he had compassion on them. They had heard the testimony and believed in Jesus’ power to heal, and he was true to his character.

    You’re correct when you say it’s wrong to seek God just for the temporal benefits. It’s really sad that anyone would do that. Why would anyone want just a taste of God’s comfort manifested in some physical relief when God’s eternally perfect Kingdom is at hand? It comes from sin. People want sonship without servanthood, freedom without carrying our cross. God’s love isn’t cheap. It cost Jesus his life.

    The reason I believe in miracles today is because I read the Bible(not just because I’ve seen them). God has been doing them all throughout history. He healed Sarah’s womb. He parted the Red Sea and raised the snake in the desert. He used Elijah and Elisha to raise people from the dead and made Esther queen. The miracles throughout the Bible are testimonies of the love of God and the power of God; miracles today accomplish the same purpose.

    According to the Word, Christians have the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit Who did all these wonders. He is the same God! He is immutable and faithful. And when we ask him, he gives us good gifts and fullness of joy. He is the perfect Father Who loves us! I do not doubt that He will continue to show His love for us in wondrous ways.

  23. GR says:

    I am saddened that so many people in the Church today say they have not seen God’s power at work but have only seen fakery. I am also saddened that some feel Christ was sent to the Jews and not the whole world. I am a gentile and He came to me. I was not even looking for Him when He knocked on the door of my heart.

    The idea of God’s power has been so discredited by liars and fakes that even speaking of it can get you in trouble in the Church today. That, I think, was the intention of Satan and the mistake of Christians. Those who assert that God’s power to heal etc., is over are unable to prove their assertion from the Word of God. Even so, they refuse the testimony of those they call their brothers and sisters around them.

    What I have learned to do is this: I never accuse another of lying until I know he or she is a liar. If I do not know that, then I have no cause to believe that of them and must accept what they say as truth, trusting in God to show me otherwise. When I am in doubt about something a man says to me I ask God to show me the truth. He has never let me down yet.

    I have learned that many decievers are in the Church today. Many false “miracles” are done and when they are, there is always a cry for money not far behind. I have learned there are many fools calling themselves Christians are are not. It is these who pay for the false prophets jets and big houses. I have learned that God is not mocked and He will deal with these people. It is not my job.

    I have seen God heal in staggering ways and beautifully too. He has healed me also. Even when it happened in a public place (A Church) it was done quietly and without fanfare. There was no one in a white suit yelling into a microphone, “Jeeeeesusssssss!” There was no hype and no appeal to emotion. No “inspirational music.” No one rattled a bucket for money under anyones nose. No one was selling a book or CD. There were no visits by a mysterious spirit-lady calling herself Mary. There were no crying statues or relics that had to be rubbed. There was just a wonderful quiet mercy and a staggering blessing, in answer to a heartfelt earnest prayer.

    To say that God somehow switched off His own power because the Word was complete is like saying God switched Himself off. The presence of God IS the power of God and no man can stand in that presence, except Christ, because no man is worthy, other than Christ.

    For many people God is a little god that can be limited. He is a creation of their own imagination, no matter how limited that imagination is. They do not worship God as God, instead they worship their own idea of God and fail to see it is an idol. In their minds, their god conforms to their wishes. He is their servant. He is their pet that they keep in a little box in their heads. To those who know Him, God is too great to describe. Too vast to limit. Too powerful to dare challenge. Too wonderful to explain. Too wise to comprehend. Those who truly know Him know that His ways and thoughts are not ours and therefore we cannot begin to see or understand the staggering heights and depths of His love and fury. His peace and judgement. His power and his glory. The best such a one can do is raise hands in praise; fall down in worship and cry out for mercy. Offering his or her own life to Him as a sacrifice for His use. God cannot be limited by man’s mere mind or man’s foolish words. Neither can He be contained or restrained by man’s pride.

    No! God did not switch off His power and if you have His Spirit in you then you have that power in you too. The might of God is where God is. When He uses that might is up to Him alone but never dare tell almighty God He cannot use that power because you do not think He should!

    “How art thou fallen from heaven O day-star, son of the morning!
    How art thou cast down to the ground, That didst cast lots over the nations!
    And thou saidst in thy heart:’I will ascend into heaven, Above the stars of God
    Will I exalt my throne; And I will sit upon the mount of meeting,
    In the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will be like the Most High (Elyon).’ Yet thou shalt be brought dow to the nether-world, To the uttermost parts of the pit.”
    Isaiah 14:12-15

  24. unworthy1 says:

    GR, No one here is denying God’s healing power, we have witnessed it firsthand in the saving of our souls. We have been transformed from a dead, depraved state into the Light, reborn by the mighty supernatural power of God. This is the ultimate in healing, in my humble opinion. I could care less about those who claim physical healings, that’s nothing compared to the rebirthing of a human soul. This is more miraculous than any temporal healing, for it is eternal and everlasting.
    No one here is claiming God switched off His power, nor are we stating He is ‘limited’. God can do as He pleases, and does just that, all for His glory. I personally have never seen anyone cured of terminal cancer, nor have I witnessed anyone whose vision was restored, or someone confined to a wheelchair being healed and made to walk. Google Justin Peters, who is confined to a wheelchair, and read his story.

    May I ask, what has God healed you of, and what type of miracles have you witnessed.

    Lyn

  25. GR says:

    Hi Lyn.

    God bless you.

    May I ask you: given what you have just written, if I told you could you hear me?

  26. unworthy1 says:

    GR,
    I am not suggesting God doesn’t heal { as far as the disease of sin is concerned}, but, why would He heal some and not others, for instance, Justin Peters {I am assuming you are familiar with this brother in Christ}. Or this woman who just recently, {Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic}, was diagnosed with breast cancer. God’s word says God does not show favoritism {Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11} which is sin {James 2:9}. How is it you say God healed you, and yet, He has left these two in their disabled state. My Pastor’s wife is blind, why. Does God like you better than these believers. How can you explain healing when it isn’t for ALL believers.
    That is why I believe healing was for the apostolic ministry only. Otherwise, God would be a liar, for He plays favorites.

    I am curious why you hesitate to tell all here what God has healed you of, I do hope you will reveal this mystery.

    Lyn

  27. GR says:

    When Jesus went up to Jerusalem did He heal ALL that were sick and raise ALL that were dead? If not, was He being wicked in His favouritism?

    When God choose the Jews to be His people from all others upon the face of the earth, was He being wicked in His favouritism? Or, was He working to a higher plan and a greater wisdom that than of foolish and sinful men?

    What is it that God says though Isaiah in Isa 55:8?

    That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. The Spirit and the flesh are contrary to one another. How then will that born of flesh understand the things of the Spirit? The mind of sinful men and women is like a steel trap and unless the Spirit of God rules it, it cannot be trusted. Therefore, let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus and with humility seek the will of God and the teaching of His Spirit.

    You have asked me: “I am curious why you hesitate to tell all here what God has healed you of, I do hope you will reveal this mystery.”

    Where is the mystery? Did I not say: “The idea of God’s power has been so discredited by liars and fakes that even speaking of it can get you in trouble in the Church today. That, I think, was the intention of Satan and the mistake of Christians. Those who assert that God’s power to heal etc., is over are unable to prove their assertion from the Word of God. Even so, they refuse the testimony of those they call their brothers and sisters around them. ”

    I will not enter into foolish debates that cause division and do not strengthen the faith of those in the Church but rather, weaken it. Do not seek men for your answers but seek the Lord your God. If you have His Spirit in you then you have no need for men to teach you.

    This is my last word on this subject because all that needs to be said here has been said.

    God bless you and teach you.

  28. unworthy1 says:

    GR,
    You have chosen to back away from your claim of healing, you haven’t answered my question as to why God would heal you and not other believers. Again, I believe healing was for a previous time. God used healing to draw the Jews to hear the preaching of the Gospel, as Acts clearly teaches. If healing were universal and operational, as you seem to believe, then what is the basis for it. Why some believers and not others. You have no biblical evidence to back your claim of healing, other than the past healing powers given to the Apostles which was used to gather the multitudes to hear the preaching of the Gospel. Again, you focus on the healings of Christ and NOT the purpose for them; this leads to a charismatic view of God. He is not at our beckon call to rid us of unpleasant temporal discomforts; more than likely, God sends afflictions to draw His own to Him, to teach us to trust, or to rid us of some cleaving sin.
    This is by no means a foolish debate, it is evidence that physical healings are not for today. People flocked to Jesus in His day for the same thing, and how it grieved Him {John 4:48}. When one studies the REASON for healings and miracles, then one sees why they aren’t for today.

    Again, I reiterate, the greatest healing God has ever/will ever perform is the saving of a dead in sin sinner’s soul. This magnificent display of power is shrugged off by those caught up in the charismatic chaos; instead, they chase after and boast of temporal physical healings. There is not one documented case of a true healing in our time, so why should anyone believe yours is legit.
    As for my having His Spirit, by grace, I do. That is how I know physical healings are non-existent today. Studying God’s word in the context which it is written is an absolute must for any serious born from above believer. To take things written for a previous time and try and make them fit this present time leads to disaster. It is the same with those who insist speaking in tongues is still prevalent today, yet, why is it missionaries who go to foreign lands must learn the language of that land first, why doesn’t the Holy Spirit just gift them with the ability to speak that language as He did during the apostolic ministry.
    I am not trying to ‘pick a fight’ with you, I am trying to get you to dig deeper into His word and cry out for His wisdom. As I’ve already stated, I do believe in His mercy, God spares us certain heartaches. However, I’ve yet to read, see, hear of a legitimate healing.
    You will be happy to know that God is indeed teaching me, He is shielding me from apostasy and deception as well. I praise Him for the gift of discernment, I am thankful I am not gullible. I saw my mother die from cancer, there was no healing; but I understand God’s truth for the season in which I live. He used her illness for something much greater than a temporal healing, He used it to bring me to Christ. He broke me over my sins by humbling me- at the hearing of her terminal illness, I was crushed. This all led to Him saving my soul; I am most thankful for this.
    There is a purpose for pain in this life, it may be used by God for His glory. This is not a popular teaching in today’s society, a world that desires health and wealth certainly opposes teachings such as this.

    Blessings to you G.R.

    Lyn

  29. David North says:

    Lyn,

    God is sovereign…He answers to no one but that He chooses. If He wants to heal and has a purpose, then He does.

    My wife in her mid forties began to have migraines–which she had never had in her entire life. At the same time, she began to experience arthritic pain so great she would cry walking down our stairs at home.

    We volunteered at a summer church camp four years ago and she slept with no sleeping bag on the last night there–which resulted in her having a severe pain in her back the next morning (she has a deviated cocyx–tailbone). As we were packing to go, the pastor’s wife noticed her grimacing and asked if she was ok. She told her that she had strained her back and they asked if they could pray for her as they would feel guilty if they simply sent her home with no more thought. We prayed and left.

    The next morning my wife came down the stairs and was crying. She started jumping up and down on the step saying to me, “Look! Look!”

    When she awoke her migraines, back ache and arthritis weere no longer causing her pain. no one “prayed away” those things. We and the pastor had simply asked God to help my wife.

    So must I now adopt a theology that says that was “just a placebo” or the aetheist view that it’s “just a coincidence” or “subjective”?

    Despite both inocent and selfish abuse of “healing” in many Christian movememnts, God can heal–and He does. Chuck Swindoll was dean of Fuller Theological College and is a Baptist. He states he has witnessed healing firsthand as a result of prayer and has decided his theology is simply, “God is sovereign; He can do what He wants, when He wants, with whome He wants.”.

    I don’t find this unbiblical and it saves me the effort of telling everyone who wants to ask God tfor healing hat not only can’t they but they are in mheretic doctrine if they do so. God is who He is. I don’t have to defend or explain Him away–He can speak for Himself.

  30. unworthy1 says:

    Again, I find no evidence of healing in your story David, coincidence yes, but evidence, no. Can anyone give a legitimate documentation of healing, for example, a quadriplegic instantly healed, or a terminally ill person instantly healed. That’s another problem with your story David, when Christ healed, it was instantaneous, not overnight. No one had to wait for their healing, it happened on the spot. As for Chuck Swindoll, he is suspect at best. Here’s a quote from an article in which Swindoll is seeking to be ‘relevant’ with the culture at a ‘Promisekeeper’s ‘ conference, ‘ Not even Chuck Swindoll riding his Harley out on stage while “Wild Thing” played on the loudspeakers was enough to keep these Promise Keeper men in the church.’ What true born again believer would make an entrance to a song like that! You can read the entire article if you so desire here, http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=570
    Here’s another article snippet that seems to link Swindoll to dominionism—
    National Day of Dominion
    The New Apostolic Reformation extends its Dominionist influence over today’s National Day of Prayer:

    The National Day of Prayer Task Force’s mission is to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, mobilizing the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church and Family.

    The seven centers of power just happen to track very closely with the 7 Mountains of Culture, or 7-M Mandate, that’s promoted by the new generation of self-appointed apostles on a mission from God to rule the Earth. The only difference appears to be that “Military” has replaced “Arts & Entertainment” with the Task Force.

    And frankly, given this movement’s fascination with recruiting volunteers for the demonic army of Joel 2, that’s creepy.

    Hat tip to Kyle at Right Wing Watch, who points out that the Task Force, like May Day 2010, is another nexus linking mainstream evangelicals and the New Apostolic Reformation.

    James Dobson’s wife Shirley heads the Task Force, which includes Vonette Bright, wife of Bill, who (along with Loren Cunningham of Youth With a Mission) claimed that the seven mountains vision was given to him by God in 1975. Also listed among the leadership were prominent evangelicals like James Dobson, Rick Warren, Billy Graham, Ravi Zacharias, Chuck Swindoll, Max Lucado, Chuck Colson, David Barton (WallBuilders), Charles Stanley, Joni Eareckson Tada, former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, and, among other Republican congressmen, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence.

    Again, you can read the entire article here, http://derekpgilbert.com/?p=3687

    I hate sounding like a broken record folks, but please, study the REASON for healing, then you will be able to discern why miraculous healing isn’t present in our time. There is one coming who will perform signs and wonders, he will tantalize and seduce people by these signs and wonders as well. I assure you, you do not want to follow this man of perdition.

  31. unworthy1 says:

    David and GR,
    I know you both will more than likely not read this, but this article makes for an interesting read on the subject of modern day healing…

    http://newpuritans.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/does-miraculous-healing-still-happen-today/

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