Introduction and testimony

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dwight92070
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Re: Introduction and testimony

Post by dwight92070 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:41 am

Yes, I am referring to the Word of Faith teaching. We had a guest speaker each week, along with our other classes. Well, one week a man came whose "specialty" was to "prophecy" over people. I don't remember his name but he was heavy set and appeared to be a jolly "Santa Claus" type of man, if you can picture that. He first gave his sermon, which was more emotions than theology, and then he offered to "prophecy" over each one of us in the student body, one by one (there were about 1200 students). We were to line up on the left side of the stage (he was still up behind the podium) and come across the stage to where he was. Then he would usually lay his hands on the students head and "prophecy". I had never seen anything like that before, and was quickly skeptical, as I tend to be until I see the precedent set in the Bible. Well, I could not think of any scripture that could affirm what he was doing, so I did not get in line, and so did many other students. When he was done, several other students and I stayed to ask questions or speak with him. When it was my turn, I told him that I was not sure that what he was doing was Biblical. Well, he immediately became angry, and with several other students looking on, said something like: "I've been in this business too long to let some young punk come along and question me." I realized that he was simply exposing a lack of good character by getting angry, so I just backed away silently and said nothing.
Another time, Kenneth Hagin was a guest speaker, and the woman who introduced him called him an apostle, which he did not deny. He too asked for students to come up on stage and he would pray for us one by one and lay his hands on us. However, there was a different element here. He had several "catchers" who would stand behind the person that Hagin was praying for, in case they were "slain in the spirit" and fall backwards. Well, I decided to get in line, basically to see if this was valid. Well, Hagin placed his hand on my forehead, and I noticed he applied a little push while praying for me. There was definitely peer pressure and I was expected to fall back, but did not at first. The thought struck me that I would be considered a rebel if I did not play along, so eventually I fell back. Afterwards, I was mad at myself for giving in to peer pressure. Originally I was not going to fall back unless God pushed me back. Apparently, we were all expected to be in awe of this great man of God.

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steve
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Re: Introduction and testimony

Post by steve » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:12 am

I have often shared how my life changed when I received the biblical baptism in the Holy Spirit, at age 16. I do not believe that this was the "first work of grace" in my life, as I had been a believer since childhood, and had often searched the scriptures for answers to my questions, and had regularly witnessed for Christ to my unsaved friends. While I was not a very good Christian, by the standards I would now use to assess such things, it is hard (though not impossible) to believe that I was unconverted.

When I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, it was as a result of meeting many people who had professed to have had this experience, and of my subsequent searching of the scriptures to see if these things were so. Being fully persuaded, I sought to be baptized in the Spirit through the laying-on of hands. While I did not immediately speak in tongues, I did experience nothing short of a spiritual revolution in my walk with, and service to, God from that night onward. I do not base my doctrines on this experience, but I cannot ignore that my experience confirms my doctrine.

On the other hand, I do not generally speak in terms of a "second work of grace." I believe that the Christian life consists in a series of continual and repeated works of grace—not one or two. My "baptism in the Holy Spirit" was a dramatic work of grace in my life, which I consider to have been subsequent to the earlier "work of grace" effecting my conversion. However, it was not the last.

I consider that I have experienced many subsequent "fillings" of the Spirit, and have crossed numerous "thresholds" of grace in my past 45 years. I certainly have not "attained" or "apprehended" that for which I was apprehended by God, but there is gradual, incremental increase "from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor.3:18). This experience accompanies our continually receiving "grace upon grace" (John 1:16).

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dizerner
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Re: Introduction and testimony

Post by dizerner » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:30 pm

I got burned pretty badly on Word of Faith too, dwight. Took me years to get over it. I try to forgive those people and look at the good side.
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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dwight92070
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Re: Introduction and testimony

Post by dwight92070 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:54 am

Steve, may I ask you what you mean by saying that a spiritual revolution took place in your walk and service when you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? When I received what I thought was the baptism of the Holy Spirit, accompanied by speaking in tongues, I don't believe I noticed much change in either of those areas. Of course, I was saved just 10-11 months earlier, so I was still very excited about following Jesus and trying to do what pleased Him.

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dwight92070
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Re: Introduction and testimony

Post by dwight92070 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:09 am

To dizerner, Sorry to hear about your experience with the Word of Faith. Obviously, you know how much harm such false teaching can do. For years I was reluctant to even call it false teaching. Instead I thought of it as a different view point. Then one day I heard Kenneth Copeland teaching and he was so far off base that I remember asking myself: "Is this a false prophet?" Of course, today I firmly believe that he is, along with all those who espouse such heresy. You probably remember that Kenneth Copeland said that he could have died for the sins of the world, if he had the knowledge of the word that Jesus had! Absolute heresy!

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steve
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Re: Introduction and testimony

Post by steve » Sat Jan 02, 2016 5:12 pm

Hi Dwight,

The changes that occurred overnight in my life, which I can remember as distinctly as if they had not occurred 45 years ago, would include:

1) An subjective awareness of God's reality and presence (I had known both previously as theological truths);

2) A new love and sympathy for, and patience with, everybody;

3) A new sense, when reading scripture (something I had done all my life), that the words were a personal communication from God to me;

4) A new passion to live a life separated to God and His kingdom.

I do not suggest that all of these things occur simultaneously in the experience of every person who is filled with the Spirit. Many speak with tongues (which I did not). I did speak with tongues subsequently, however.

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dwight92070
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Re: Introduction and testimony

Post by dwight92070 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:07 am

Steve, I read with interest your 4 statements of how your Christian walk and service were revolutionized after you experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I can truthfully say that I experienced all 4 of those when I was born again. So 10-11 months later, when I received what was called the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the only difference I was aware of, was the fact that I now spoke in tongues.

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steve
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Re: Introduction and testimony

Post by steve » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:24 am

It sounds to me that you were baptized in the Holy Spirit at the same time as your conversion.

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dwight92070
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Re: Introduction and testimony

Post by dwight92070 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:21 am

And it sounds to me like you were converted and baptized in the Holy Spirit at the same time that you thought you were just baptized in the Holy Spirit. Here's why I say that:

Your 4 points sound like a description of being born again found in 2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Sounds like a complete revolution to me, and being "in Christ" describes everyone who is born again. In point 1, you say basically that you had a head knowledge of God's reality and presence, but after this experience, you suddenly, overnight, had a heart knowledge of these things. Isn't that what happens at the new birth? The old passed away and the new came.

In point 2, your attitude towards others changed immediately. You were a new creature.

In point 3, God was now personally communicating to you through scripture. But before it was more impersonal and objective. Again, the old things passed away and new things have come - a new relationship with God through His word.

In point 4, a new passion to live a holy life, committed to God and His kingdom. Once again, something new and radically life-changing in your relationship with God had occurred. You had become a new creature.

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dizerner
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Re: Introduction and testimony

Post by dizerner » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:28 am

It seems to me, if you're going to judge someone as unsaved who sincerely says they believe the Gospel, you're trespassing on the territory of the kind of logic that says a person doesn't get healed because they don't have enough faith, trying to somehow measure their internal faith by what you perceive outwardly. If someone believes in the Gospel, the Bible says they are saved—to protect a doctrine should we declare them all unsaved because they had a later work of grace? Christ said whoever believed on him passed from death to life and Peter clearly said "You are the Christ," so who are we to say all the disciples got saved only at Pentecost, after years of ministry and fellowship with Christ? I have a hard time seeing that as the logical way to read Scripture, in fact it seems clearly against the plain teaching of it, since the disciples all professed faith in Christ.

"Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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