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an online resource for Reformed Charismatics, Pentecostal Calvinists, & Empowered Evangelicals

The Miracle Worker: be the miracle…

Having never read it from cover-to-cover, I’ve still found much to agree with – in what little I’ve read – in John Wimber‘s POWER EVANGELISM, and the overall portrait he set forth for what the Christian life should look like. Though I was wary of him during his life (when he was living I was far more skeptical of the pentecostal/charismatic movement – even the 3rd Wave – than I am now), in hindsight, he had a degree of humility that many modern ‘healers’ seem to greatly lack.

Wimber made a Biblical case that, as Jesus disciples, we are to walk as Jesus walked. Even though Jesus was sinless, and we sinful, he still – setting aside the benefits of his divinity – lived as a Spirit-filled man during his life-time, and as his disciples, so should we. As a result, though maybe not in magnitude or perfection (sin didn’t trip up Jesus’ miracles – it may our own), we should walk in the miraculous much the same way that Jesus did. Jesus was not only our ‘Savior’, but also our example of what Kingdom living should look like. Amen, Mr. Wimber – and again I say, AMEN!

So, where are the miracle workers who run from the spotlight, instead of revel in it – you know, like Jesus? If we are to be ‘little-Christs’ (the meaning of the word ‘Christian’), walking in the ‘Kingdom of God’ (meaning submitted to Christ’s Lordship/Kingship), and to display the restored Image of God (which is what it means to be conformed to Christ – a restoration of what we lost in Adam’s fall), should we not only walk in the miraculous, but walk AS JESUS WALKED in the miraculous.

When I skim the Gospels, the healings He offered were personal – often he even told the ones healed to tell no one about it. When crowds gathered to see a display of miracles, He fled. His miracles had 2 purposes: the most important was to reveal God, or an aspect of God, to the individual or individuals present, and the 2nd was to enable the one healed to give glory to God. Even Jesus, who deserved the glory, didn’t glorify Himself – He gave glory to the Father, who in turn glorified His Son. One thing is for sure: when I look through all of the accounts of healings in the Bible I absolutely never see ANYTHING that even moderately resembled a show of any kind. It’s not there.

As I said in response to another blog earlier this morning, if you suspect you have the gift of healing, or God has annointed you to heal, or however you see it, do us all a favor: get a list of the sick from your church, and go to them, find the sick homeless under a nearby bridge or down a dark alleyway, then visit your local hospital, or even hospice, if they’ll let you in. If God moves powerfully, delight yourself in HIM, and not in what He’s done through you – remove yourself from the picture, empty that hospital, if God so wills – clear the beds of your local hospice. Whatever you do, don’t seek a stage, where people thirsty for a miraculous ‘tickle’ – a ‘God-show’ – will come for miles to catch a glimpse of ‘power’. It’s not about ‘power’ – particularly, it’s not about your power. At least, for Jesus it wasn’t – I guess I expect to much to hope that Christians will want to live like Christ.

Honestly, I suspect that’s what has happened to many of our famous, continually re-discredited big-time healing ministers today. There was a time when God really and truly used them to heal – I believe it is entirely possible – then they put it on stage as a show, and took the show on the road. At that point it becomes far more about the supposed miracle-worker than about Jesus – more about the ‘show’ than about Jesus – and what do you know: at that point the Holy Spirit has left the building! God wants none of it! But now they are a superstar – it’s how they make the bacon, so they have to fake it, to use artificial methods to work people into an emotional buzz which they call ‘faith’, and their doctrine creeps downhill to justify their actions. Voila – we end up putting on revivals, instead of God visiting on His own accord and bringing one about!

Yes, this moves me deeply, and I am saddened by so much of what I see. And, as always, the change begins in – and with – me. Be the miracle, and walk it like Jesus did – that’s the only place we can begin.

Amen…

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Filed under: Charismatic, Continualist, Contraversy, Emotionalism, Flesh, Holy Spirit, Lakeland Revival, Miracles, Revival, Signs of the Spirit, TeamPyro, Uncategorized, Word of Faith, , , , , , ,

13 Responses

  1. […] I’d direct those interested towards my recent blog about revival at Heat & Light, and a related blog on miracle workers. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)More […]

  2. Wes says:

    You make some excellent points.

    It was my privilege some years ago, to drive an elderly (90’s) lady to visit her elder sister who had just moved out of their shared room, and into a hospice. It was Christmas day, and they had been apart for the first time in years for only a few weeks. It was recognized by all that this was to be her last Christmas.

    My wife was their caregiver in the retirement home, and had witnessed the elder sister’s rapid decline. Her muscles now failed her. She could no longer sit up, or speak, or even swallow food.

    During our visit, it seemed right to us that we pray with them. We offered, they didn’t object. As I recall, it was a very ‘ordinary’ prayer, in which among other things, we prayed that God strengthen her in her remaining time. Really, it was a ‘no-frills’ prayer. No angelic choir, no cheezy white ‘evangelist-suits’. No visible change. We said our good-byes, and brought the younger sister home.

    We learned, afterward, that the elder sister had sufficient strength return to her, that she could sit up in bed, and say here good-byes to her loved ones, and assure them that she was at peace with God, and ready to meet Him. She lived another month or so.

    Even better, the credit went entirely to God. She had sense enough to recognize the real source of her help.

  3. Honest says:

    Matt 9:6-8
    6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
    7 And he arose, and departed to his house.
    But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men. (KJV)

    Miracles in the time of Jesus were performed in front of people. Albeit they were not done by Jesus but by an individual who did them so that the people who observed could give the glory to God. Are not the people who see miracles today not giving the glory to god? The suggestion is made that if someone has the gift of healing he or she should perform such miracles in a hospice or church. The teachings of the Bible suggest that not even Jesus healed a great number of sick. His “healings” were select and a minor part of what he did on earth, as far as the bible documents.

  4. Don says:

    Thanks much for this post. I’ve read all of Wimber’s “Power” books and have been very encouraged by them. I’ve also been blessed by teaching and conferences of Randy Clark, who for years has been praying for people to be healed in all sorts of places, while telling people that God wants to use “little ole me” for this ministry.

    I agree completely with your call to forget about what I call “Big-M” ministry, and just go out and expect God to guide you. Whenever I talk with someone and I learned they’re sick or injured, I just assume that’s God opening the door for me to ask if I can pray for them. As Randy says, who is going to turn down being prayed-over for healing? Almost no one, of course!

    And, as Wimber and the Vineyard have taught, the worst thing that can happen when you approach people quietly and in gentleness, is that they will walk away afterward feeling that God knows and cares for them.

    I, too, have been thrilled to see God move in response to simple, “unanointed” prayers for healing. It’s really a wonderful adventure with God, isn’t it?

    Thanks again for this encouragement!

  5. heatlight says:

    Hey Honest, I am not at all disagreeing with you. SOME of the Miracles that Jesus did were done in front of people (though only a few documented one were in front of ‘multitudes’, and the rest done in front of people were only in the presence of some of the 12 apostles). However, those people were gathered because of the miracles of Jesus, not because someone advertised that Jesus was holding a ‘healing revival’. Often when the crowed gathered, Jesus fled.

  6. Cyndi says:

    To add to what you’ve said here and earlier, each miracle was different. When he healed the blind, he did it differently each time. (And one time Jesus had to pray twice!) So many seem to forget this.

    I believe each of us have the gift of healing when God wants to touch us with it. I prayed for a woman in Honduras who was healed. This has never happened since. For that moment, I had the gift. I still pray, believing, but not knowing what will happen. My gifts are elsewhere most of the time.

    My husband prays for people and no one else has been instantly healed. However, almost every time he prays for my headaches, they go away. Something doctors have never been able to do. I’m moved to tears every time this happens. Maybe he only has the gift when it comes to his wife? Still, very cool.

    I’ve learned that with the gift of healing that faith is the key, and that God is wondrous. We are just the vessels.

  7. […] televangelist.  As many of you will know, much of what I see there breaks my heart, as I’ve written on similar issues myself here in the recent past.  As one who believes firmly in a miracle working God, I’m likely saddened by the frauds […]

  8. […] Bentley. Though by no means do I ‘recant’ of my blogs on the subject (Be the Revival, Be the Miracle, Sound Doctrine, & Drop Kick), I was encouraged by much of what I […]

  9. […] of all that I’ve said so far concerning revival, particularly in Lakeland: Be the Revival; Be the Miracle; Sound Doctrine, Drop-Kick, Current Thoughts, & Quenching the Spirit. Be blessed as you read. […]

  10. […] with Bentley. Though by no means do I ‘recant’ of my blogs on the subject (Be the Revival, Be the Miracle, Sound Doctrine, & Drop Kick), I was encouraged by much of what I […]

  11. alease davis says:

    What really makes me question the validity of faith healers is the fact that there is never a VISIBLE miracle,caught on film for all to witness.Some of these men,and women,have been on TV for decades.Still,there are no films of the miraculous taking place.Sure,we hear someone say that a deaf child has been healed,but never anything we can see. Why dont we see twisted,arthritic hands being made straight?Why no scarred burn victims being given smooth,normal skin?Why no Down’s Syndrome child becoming normal in mind and appearance?Why no long term paralyzed person,like Joni Erikson rising from her wheel chair? Sure,a lot of illnesses are internal,but what about those that are not? I have noticed that at the Florida Healing Outpouring(AS they call it),it is the same way!Whenever someone with a visible physical disorder comes up to be prayed for,nothing happens.The camera quickly cuts away from them,and they immediately move on to the next person.They claimed on there to heal a little boy of spina bifida.It,sadly,was not true.The little boy,who had hobbled up to the stage with a special cane,was shown pathetically hobbling around the stage on his twisted,greatly undersized legs.He wanted so bad to think he was healed,and Todd Bentley exploited it.He said the boy had never walked before,but he obviously had,because his Mother was holding his cane,and the boy said”I never could walk this well before.Unfortunately,he wasnt healed,would Jesus leave a child all twisted and deformed,if He had truly healed him.It made me want to cry,because I have two children with disabilities myself.What is it going to do to the little boy’s faith,when he wakes up the next day,and realizes he was not healed.He was used to try to validate a heretical man operating an absurd “crusade”based on lies.

  12. […] DOESN’T mean is that I withdrawal ANY of my earlier blogs on the subject (see BE THE REVIVAL, MIRACLE WORKER, SOUND DOCTRINE, CURRENT THOUGHTS, QUENCHING, & AGAINST), though it definitely puts them in a […]

  13. Tyler says:

    I liked your thoughts bro. Good ones, humble ones and they seemed to be balanced as well.

    Have you ever heard of Rhema Bible Training Center or Kenneth Hagin? Well, that’s my hyper-charismatic/WOF background that the Holy Spirit called me out of…email me and we can exchange thoughts on it.

    By His grace and for His glory alone,

    Tyler
    http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com

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