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Posts Tagged ‘Prophetic’

I’ve been going through the Old Testament for my Bible reading these days.  Last night I was in the book of I Kings, in the passage where King Solomon dedicates the temple of the Lord.

That’s when I came across a couple of verses that seemed especially familiar:

When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD.  And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.

                                                                  — I Kings 8:10-11

I realized that the reason why these verses rang a bell is because I’d heard this passage used many times as scriptural support for the practice of “falling out under the power”  – you know, what happens when a preacher “under the anointing” lays hands on someone?

As I’ve said before, since leaving Charismania, I’ve thought a lot about that whole “falling out under the power” experience.  It’s something I’m not sure I’ll ever fully come to understand.  I know that something was happening to make my knees buckle and force me to the floor when Pastor Smith (not his real name) or one of his visiting ministers placed his hands on my forehead.  I’m still just sort of mystified as to what that something was.

Was it the literal power and presence of God Almighty Himself?

Pastor Smith would have had us believe that that’s precisely what it was – that because Pastor Smith “proclaimed the Word” and had an “anointing,” he had the ability to dispense God to his audience.  He frequently referred to himself as “a conduit” of this power.

And he used I Kings 8:10-11 as scriptural support for this practice.

But here’s the thing that struck me as I read in I Kings last night:  in that passage, it is clear that when the presence of the Lord filled the temple, it was so strong and so powerful the priests themselves were rendered unable to stand.

The priests themselves were unable to maintain control of their actions.

Let’s look a little closer at what this tells us.

Something important to keep in mind is that the priests would have been highly motivated to maintain control of themselves.  No matter what your views on God’s unchangeable nature, it is a biblical fact that He appears to have interacted differently with people in the Old Testament than He interacts with us today.  In the Old Testament, people could be killed on the spot for failing to follow God’s guidelines – even if they did so accidentally.  We don’t see a whole lot of unexplained deaths these days in church.  But in Old Testament times, different guidelines seem to have applied.  In Old Testament times, people related to God through the “old covenant.”

Since that was the case, I’m thinking that the priests doing their duty in I Kings would have been highly motivated to pay attention and be sure they followed every last letter of the law.  I think they would have done all in their human power to remain standing, at full attention.

That tells us that the authentic “presence and power of the Lord” is something so strong, something so unspeakably glorious, that no one, not even the most highly motivated individual, is able to withstand it.

Yet when people “fall out under the power” in today’s Charismaniac circles, lots of people are capable of remaining in full control of themselves and their faculties.

The individual who is purportedly dispensing the “anointing” or “power” remains in full control.

And so do the “catchers,” those big guys who follow the minister and break the falls of the people being prayed for/ministered to.

Last night it struck me that this passage in I Kings absolutely does NOT provide any support for the practice of “falling out under the power” as it is practiced in Charismatic circles today.  If anything, I Kings 8:10-11 would prove the exact opposite – that whatever is causing people to fall down these days when the minister touches them simply CANNOT be the actual “power and presence of God.”

If the GENUINE power and presence of God were “in the house” (as Pastor Smith was fond of declaring), then  all human flesh would bow in response, just as the priests in this passage from I Kings were forced to do.

There would not be anyone left standing.

Not the catchers.  And certainly not the pastor himself.

It suddenly seems terribly obvious that God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, does not manifest himself as some sort of “force” that is dispensed at the will of human beings.  The fact that Pastor Smith chose when, where, and how he’d “lay hands on people” – in other words, when, where, and how the (supposed) power of God would be dispensed – would put God at the control and mercy of Pastor Smith.

The Bible shows us that such a notion is absolutely ludicrous.

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A blogger over at a site called “End Times Prophetic Words” is doing a very thorough job of keeping up with the multitudes of things that can be written about Todd Bentley and the Lakeland “Outpouring.”  I really admire her work.

Yesterday, I noticed that we’d both put up similar posts showing the youtube videos and discussing the questions surrounding the purported resurrection of a two-days-dead little girl.  When I read through the comments accompanying that site’s article, I noticed the following, posted by someone calling himself “Chairos Seeker.”  He said, in comment #5,

By the way, being raised from the dead is not a resurrection. The disciples were commissioned to “raise the dead,” not resurrect the dead. “Resurrection” refers to being clothed with a new, perfect body. I think this distinction of terms is both Biblical and helpful. I don’t appreciate Todd’s appropriation of the term “resurrection” for raising the dead, let alone raising the brain dead.

I thought this was a very interesting observation.  While I’ve never paid much attention to the technical differences between the phrase “raising the dead” and the term “resurrection,” I believe that “Chairos Seeker” is probably correct in his assessment.  It does seem to go along with everything I remember from Scripture, that the term “resurrection” refers specifically to those who are raised from the dead and given their glorified bodies.

Something else that struck me, as I pondered the way that Todd Bentley has been touting that the revival has produced “13 resurrections,” was yet another question.  Since thus far, no documentation has been forthcoming about any of these “raised from the dead” stories – none of the “formerly dead” people have appeared on stage with Bentley or anything like that – what sort of message does that send to the world about the most important resurrection? 

After all, the whole reason that Christianity is different from all other world religions is because we claim to serve a RISEN Savior.  The resurrection of Christ (which took place after his crucifixion to pay the price for our sins and to reconcile us with the all-powerful, righteous, and holy God) is the absolute centerpiece of the Christian faith.  If you’re a Christian, you believe that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead on third day after His death on the cross.  You believe in this as a LITERAL, FACTUAL, PHYSICAL REALITY.  It’s the reality of Christ’s RESURRECTION that gives us hope.  Really, it’s the ONLY thing that gives us hope, for this life and the next.

So…my question is…what does it do to the Christian faith, to have the term “resurrection” tossed around so glibly?  If the Lakeland “Outpouring” is really all about Jesus, and if it’s truly evangelistic in nature, then shouldn’t more focus be on the one resurrection that absolutely matters? – Jesus’ own resurrection? 

And if all the stories about people being raised from the dead turn out to be just a bunch of hype, where the people weren’t really dead but, as apparently was true for the 3-year-old girl, merely woke up out of comas, doesn’t that just serve to detract from the message of salvation, the message of Christ’s resurrection?

I think it does.

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Here is the video that shows Todd Bentley presenting the story about the little 3-year-old girl who was said to have been raised from the dead:

Here is the video of Todd Bentley on the phone with the little girl’s father:

You will notice that even according to the exuberant testimonies on the video, the little girl in question was “brain-dead,” meaning that she had no detectable brain activity.  She was apparently, however, being “kept alive” on life-support machines.  Otherwise, how could they hope to “harvest her organs” for donation?  Like I said before, common sense tells us that they don’t accept donated organs from a 2-day-old cadaver.

I know that some of you think this is a mere technicality, but I would like to go on the record as saying that THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING “BRAIN DEAD” AND ACTUALLY STONE-COLD DEAD!  Even if a machine is doing your breathing and making your heart pump, as long as you have a pulse and blood is still circulating through your body, you are ALIVE, not DEAD.

So technically, this does not count as one of the supposed “thirteen resurrections from the dead” that the Lakeland, Florida “Outpouring” has been claiming to have witnessed.

Now obviously, having a brain-dead little girl snap out of her comatose, “as good as dead” state and then be completely recovered from the disease that had put her in that condition in the first place, is, all by itself, a HUGE miracle.

And God deserves all the praise for such a wonder…

IF it really happened.

But recently, reports have come out that the Lakeland folks have announced that the little girl, Jaden, has died once more.  This time, her cause of death was (supposedly) because a “New Age” lady came and prayed for her.

It all gets curiouser and curiouser!

But oh – I forgot – those of us who are puzzled by all the discrepencies are the ones who are being divisive.  It’s us questioners who are “quenching the Spirit.”

In case you can’t tell, I’m being just a tad bit sarcastic.  My true feelings on this one? –

Well, quite literally, THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS!  If stories are coming out with crucial details being reported inaccurately, and nobody bothers to correct these inaccuracies (such as, for instance, a “resurrection” turning out to be someone awaking from a coma), then those non-retracted stories or non-corrected details would be LIES.  And we all know who the “father of lies” is, right?

 

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