An Uncomfortable Truth? – Believers or Quenchers II

Jesus, who was, is, and ever will be  God, did not use His own divine power and authority during His life and ministry on earth.

He ministered and lived as a flesh and blood man, anointed by the Holy Spirit and in complete obedience to the will of the Father.

After He ascended back to heaven, He sent the same Holy Spirit that had empowered His own ministry to enable believers to do the same works (and greater) as those He had done.

Many try hard to undermine this “uncomfortable truth” because it contradicts their powerless theologies and they do their best to discredit those who have accepted it. Often they will make questionable charges against those they oppose, accusing them of heresies, such as the denial of Jesus’ divinity.

However, if there is any “denial of divinity at work”, it was in Jesus denying Himself the option of exercising His own divine rights and abilities, electing to submit to His Father and the Holy Spirit so He could perfectly identify with us in all ways and in all temptations, with the exception of committing sin.

When people deny the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit and His gifts in the church today, they then have the need to “explain” away all claims of that ministry being done by professing believers. They are therefore quick to attribute it all to Satan, and level accusations of heresy, potentially stepping into the dangerous territory of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.

Scripture makes it very clear, to those willing to believe the Bible instead of traditions they’ve been taught, that the Holy Spirit did not withdraw His gifts and ministry with the death of the apostles. Those gifts have never been withdrawn from the church and are no less needed today than they were in the early church era.

There seem to be two opposing, extreme camps. The deniers who do whatever they can to denigrate and accuse, versus those who get up to a lot of extra-biblical activities, supposedly “in the name of Jesus”.
I suspect that both categories could very well fall under the following warning given by Jesus, if an activity is not in scripture, or at least consistent with scripture, it is almost certainly NOT the Father’s will:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! (Matt 7) NIV

Are those who are so openly antagonistic to Spiritual gifts in general so confident of their own stance that they KNOW they are doing the will of the Father?

Are they so sure that THEY will not be counted among those Jesus didn’t know, because they are NOT actually doing his will with their heresy-hunting? Are their pronouncements not a form of “prophecy”? Claiming to be words representing God’s judgements?
Did Jesus commission His church to go into the all the world and expose heretics?

I’d also like to point out that those that Jesus did not know, were not necessarily doing deeds through demonic empowerment. They only CLAIM to have prophesied, driven out demons, and performed miracles. The likelihood of demonic spiritual empowerment seems unlikely when the name of Jesus was being used, although demonic deception in the mind of those doing the deeds is most likely, making them believe their own claims, rather than them actually performing the miraculous.

The above warning from Jesus ought to be balanced by another.
Where the one already cited relates to people DOING things that were NOT sanctioned by God, there is another related to doing nothing, where a servant chose to bury what his master had given him rather than use it as intended.

The church has been given a gift: the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit who empowered Jesus and His ministry. If we choose to ignore the gift, or bury it through denial,  how can we expect to avoid the fate of the servant who out of fear buried his Masters bag of gold instead of putting it to use as he was required, especially when Jesus instructed His disciples not to leave Jerusalem until the gift was given to equip them to be His witnesses throughout the world. Are later generations superior to the apostles and early church and able to be His witnesses without the empowerment and gifts of His Spirit?

…throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (matt 25) NIV

28 thoughts on “An Uncomfortable Truth? – Believers or Quenchers II

  1. Did Jesus commission His church to go into the all the world and expose heretics? In some ways, it seems no… particularly as contrasted with the words of those called church [translation matter] leaders in the first century. But there is also a yes to that. He was challenging the powers that be. The powers in the world of the time were an overlording class (a type not of Jewish, nor a plain humble human, origin) and a religious tie-in (said to be Jewish [or of Israel] in character). He had a lot to say to and about said hypocrites (and that’s not synonymous with Jewish people such that we can be sure all Christians, as a counterpoint, who spread a gospel are on the right track).

    Additionally, the apostles, or the writers of books in “The New Testament” did say to warn others (again… not only against Judaism). It is a well-worn path to think the wrong people were the Jewish personas (and I know you’re not saying that); that tradition (only relatively recently questioned to a strong extent) is subliminally forgotten when the idea is that spreading any Christianity for the sake of it means not saying when something is wrong. [As an aside, but a bit tied in, I’m not all about Christianity or church/Church (these are historical words that have been ”made” into something beyond their possible good).] It is true that people need to be balanced.

    I don’t experience what is going on in your country (although you have shared some of it), but, in my country, I have begun to see that we are on the verge of a milieu reminiscent of what I’ve read from Richard Wurmbrand (where the real is somewhat underground… I hope we will back out of the worst of it, perhaps in the last nic-of-time for our era… while this existence isn’t immune). There were visible churches, then (such as in Romania), that fell hook-line-sinker into the power class. I believe power is meant to be a contrast. There are types of power from or of the world, and the notoriety of people who have a form of power, but the Power of the Holy Spirit is otherwise.

  2. He was challenging the powers that be

    Only when those powers kept challenging Him, forever trying to trick Him, and accuse Him, and to get Him to say something they could condemn.

    Paul and other NT writers did point put some errors, but mostly those arising within churches they themselves had established or with whom they’d had personal involvement.

    They didn’t make it their mission to major on exposing people’s errors, and they didn’t make any judgements while denying the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the signs with which He confirms the gospel.

  3. I wouldn’t say “only” — while that was, it seems, pretty much how they sought to interact with him. He came into a situation that was already bad (not only for clashing with him — because it was bad before he arrived on the scene of which he spoke). He spoke to the people who came directly to him, but he also made some general statements and other grating observations. At that time, apostles and others sent letters and messengers, mainly by foot or horse or donkey, maybe camel. Now, people bring in personalities in ways that didn’t exist then. At that point (as well as when they want wired money and larger memberships), they become our “business.” Personally, I don’t think we need to be star struck 🤩 … we can skip the whole thing. As for correcting errors, I perceive there to be quite a bit of that in “The New Testament” — even if it’s not what I would want to do very often.

  4. I thought for many years that we could do everything Jesus did. Because He only did miracles after the Holy Spirit came upon Him and therefore the same power was available to us. He modelled how to trust God and see miracles. For a variety of reasons I began to question this foundational belief I held.

    I asked myself, did Jesus do anything as God? A couple of events struck me:

    1) He forgave sins. Only God can do this.
    2) He stated that He only did what He saw the Father doing. Only Jesus acting in his deity can do what He sees God the Father doing.

    I saw His deity in action. I saw that I had fallen for part of Satan’s original temptation – “You shall be as God”. Very appealing. Very seductive. Very carnal.

    The theology you are advocating devalues the sovereignty of Jesus, the majesty of Jesus, and it raises man to be His equal. I know that Scripture says we are co-workers with Christ but that does not make us equals with Him. Giving humans the same access to power that Jesus had would be akin to trusting a child with a loaded gun, yet far more dangerous. I don’t care if David Pawson says it. I came to see that Scripture and the whole tone of scripture emphasis the majesty and dominion of Christ. This theology diminishes it. Thousands (millions?) of people try and act on this teaching, and in the eyes of those who look on they look like what they are, the silly religious deceived.

    Jesus was God, walked and taught as God in the flesh, claimed to be equal with God the Father and His claims were validated by the miracles He did and his resurrection.

    Tim if you have access to the same power as Jesus, if you can do the same things, then please prove it. Curse a tree in your garden. Maybe calm the next storm you are in or cyclone that comes. Get some people healed (clearly healed).

    Your theology is just theory. It works on an internet page or a teaching session. In real life it doesn’t. (Unless you take positive coincidences as proof and negative coincidences as evidence of Satan at work – I spent years in the struggle of explaining things to fit my theology). I now consider my former theology at the least irreverent, more likely, blasphemous. I saw my need to repent. I suggest you ask God for a revelation of the majesty of Jesus Christ.

    And I believe in and operate in gifts of the Holy Spirit

    In Christ, a brother.

  5. Sad to see you have more faith in your theological traditions than in the truth of God’s word.

    And don’t you think dismissing the word of Jesus is more of a devaluing of His sovereignty than actually believing that HE spoke the truth? Or maybe He lied when HE was the one who promised that the same works and greater would be done by those who believe in Him.

    And only God can forgive sins? That was the Pharisees claim.
    Jesus Himself said “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matt 6)

    You said:

    Get some people healed (clearly healed)

    I’m in the process of doing that – if you took the time to read other entries on my blog.
    Would that getting people healed include the recent healing of my wife’s knees that had been painful for around a decade and a half and are now pain free? Or the recent healing of a burn sustained while cooking?

    Clearly you with your unbelief and lack of faith in God’s word would condemn me to death from the cancer diagnosis I was given?
    Personally I prefer to trust God and His living Word instead of dead lifeless theology. I choose to declare I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done, giving Him the glory He deserves: obeying the LORD’s command to choose life, to live and love Him.

    As for cursing trees – don’t you think the ability to do that would require the will of God and not just our will? Where God’s will for healing is CLEARLY shown in scripture, an ongoing desire to kill trees is not.

    Just as Jesus did nothing under His own authority and power, neither do we. We can only do what’s within the Lord’s will. I suspect cursing trees is no longer high on His agenda – but a lot of other things that the church is failing to do through institutionalised, ingrained faithlessness are His will but disobedience and unbelief prevent them from being done.

  6. And again, referring to your assertion that: “He forgave sins. Only God can do this”.

    How about the following after Jesus’ resurrection:

    Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20) NIV

    Apart from Jesus disagreeing with your assertion – note HIs further statement confirming that His followers have been sent with the same Divine authority and same Divine power as He had for His ministry.

  7. An interesting verse that Tim. The Lord gave me a clear understanding that I should seek to ‘remit’ at a time when I was in serious anger toward 2 males who had jointly committed an assault on my daughter. I knew their actions and I knew my anger would lead to bitterness, I knew I should forgive, but couldn’t.

    The Bible I was using at that time was KJV – I looked up ‘remit’, the only verse in Scripture with that word is John 20:23. When I read the verse and looked up the definition of ‘remit’ – one meaning of which is to refer/submit to authority/judgement I had clarity that unless I forgave those males, then my unforgiveness would affect any future salvation for those individuals. That fitted in with my understanding of the context of other Scripture.

    With that clarity of understanding, I was then immediately able to forgive their actions, and to remit both their actions and my anger over to Him.

    My understanding is that their own sin (all) will be forgiven by God when they repent and believe that Jesus is Messiah and Lord – and that any of my unforgiveness for this one minor action will no longer be held against them – because I have totally forgiven.

  8. Yes Roger,
    Clearly we need to avoid accepting as “gospel truth” – statements made by unbelievers such as those Pharisees who were always trying to fault Jesus.

    It seems with the matter of forgiveness our own ability and requirement to forgive can have consequence for those we can forgive as well as for ourselves.

    I was pleased to find that verse about forgiving in John 20 because it also supported one of the major points I’d been making in my post.

    “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”.

  9. I perhaps need to clarify that in my last comment I in no way meant to imply that just because I had forgiven someone of that one action against me – that in some way that person was ‘forgiven’ of all sin. Only through belief in Lord Jesus the Messiah and repentance can individuals be forgiven of their total sin – which in the first instance is unbelief.

    IF I hold unforgiveness against anyone, for whatever reason – scripture indicates that my own sin in that respect is not forgiven. We are told to love – not hold unforgiveness which is not love.

    Even under the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the context of all Scripture teaches me that I cannot forgive ALL sin of any person to the extent they are then saved. Only through Lord Jesus can that full forgiveness be given. To believe differently is to fall into the trap that we are as Lord Jesus is.

    I can forgive those that trespass against me (and must do so) that my sin of unforgiveness might be forgiven, and so that any one individuals minor, insignificant, sin against me, is not held against that individual as unforgiven on my part. That one sin, plus all others of any individual, is remitted to the authority and judgement of Lord Jesus.

  10. Continuing on:
    I can’t forgive sin only Lord Jesus can do that.

    John 20:23, in context of all scripture declares that I can tell individuals their sins are forgiven (or not) – dependant on whether they believe on Lord Jesus the Messiah (or not), and whether they repent of their sin (or not)

    I can only do the above by sharing the Gospel of Lord Jesus which tells all who He is and how we may be saved through Him and His shed blood.

    The sharing of the Gospel will explain to the individual that IF you believe on Him and repent, then you sin will be forgiven. However, if you do NOT believe on Him and do not repent then you are not forgiven.

  11. Tim, My sharing the Gospel with a non believer, and how their sins WILL BE forgiven by God WHEN that unbeliever repents from their unbelief and as a result believes Jesus the Messiah is Lord and Saviour – is not me actually forgiving that person of their unbelief. That forgiveness is only given by God on the condition of a person’s repentance and belief.

    As I said before – If I had the power to forgive that person’s sin of unbelief – I would be as Lord Jesus is. I’m not, never will be, nor can any man. I’m not a ‘christ’ or little god as some teach.

    Any Godly power I demonstrate, tongues, prophecy, healing – is ONLY and always that of the Holy Spirit who can only do as our Heavenly Father wills. I am just a vessel through which He works as and when He chooses and only in His will. It is He who distributes these gifts as He wills – I cannot pick and choose, I cannot be given them by man, I’ve yet to meet anyone who has them all, and no one gift is given to all. The power to forgive unto salvation is definitely not one of these gifts given to mankind.
    Because of this I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, Jesus is a curse. And no one is able to say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit. 
      And there are differences of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are differences of ministries, yet the same Lord.  And there are differences of workings, but the same God is working all things in all. And to each one is given the showing forth of the Spirit to our profit.  For through the Spirit is given to one a word of wisdom, and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; and to another, faith by the same Spirit, and to another, gifts of healing by the same Spirit, and to another, workings of powers, and to another, prophecy, and to another, discerning of spirits, and to another, kinds of languages, and to another, interpretation of languages. But the one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing separately to each as He wills… 

      ..And God placed some in the assembly: firstly, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers; then works of power; then gifts of healing, helps, governings, kinds of languages.  Are all apostles? All prophets? All teachers? All workers of power?   Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak languages? Do all interpret?   But zealously strive after the better gifts. And yet I show you a way according to excellence:  1Corinthians 12

  12. Yes Roger, the Holy Spirit gives the gifts as HE wills, which would be as they are needed.

    As for forgiveness of sins, I can only consider what Jesus said in the quote I gave. My reason for referring to that quote was the previous assertion that the forgiveness of sins was only a divine action, and therefore Jesus operated in His own divine authority during His time on earth, something he repeatedly denied by saying HE only did and said according to HIs Father’s instructions.

    Jesus Himself gave His disciples the right to forgive sins in some capacity as that quote reveals.

  13. I understand what you are saying Tim. Only abrother7 can answer whether he meant the forgiveness of sin (unbelief) to salvation or the forgiveness of a sin against us as individuals in his comment.

    In my own situation shared above, I have some certainty that God showed me as He did for 2 reasons:
    Firstly and most importantly – that the future salvation of the males involved COULD be affected by my holding unforgiveness against them.
    Secondly and for my benefit – my holding of any unforgiveness needed to be broken to prevent any bitterness on my part and for my own healing in that area.

    I can confirm the second part of that, I am healed in that area. I can only pray for the other two involved that the Holy Spirit draws them to God and they come to a belief in Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. I do not know of their present situation.

    I also understand what abrother7 is saying here: I saw His deity in action. I saw that I had fallen for part of Satan’s original temptation – “You shall be as God”. Very appealing. Very seductive. Very carnal. This is a teaching that is growing in acceptance, especially as new age mysticism (and gnosticism) is introduced and accepted into christendom. It is based on misinterpretation of scripture at best, and heresy at worst.

    It can be avoided as long as we remain on alert, refer to Scripture, check what is being taught/shared and believed against Scripture (as Bereans) and continue walking with Lord Jesus and relying on the Holy Spirit to be our counsel and teacher of all truth.

    In these discussions and comments Tim, I don’t see that anyone has denied that God continues to heal today, or condemned you for believing that truth. You have a very clear reason for focusing on His healing you at this time, and I pray He will – in any way that He chooses and wills. I have shared with you that I and others are praying for you and your wife – I am confident there are others we are not aware of who are similarly praying.

    As you know, I have experience of ill health – but not to the severity that you have been diagnosed with, so I read your testimonies as you post them, but often do not know how to comment. Others may identify with that ?

    I would like to reassure you both that just because we do not comment, we continue to pray for your wellbeing and healing to the Glory of Almighty God.

    In the profound love of Jesus our Saviour, Lord, healer and King.

    Your friend and brother in Him – Roger

  14. I also understand what abrother7 is saying here: I saw His deity in action. I saw that I had fallen for part of Satan’s original temptation – “You shall be as God”. Very appealing. Very seductive.

    Hi Roger,
    The initiating part of Satan’s temptation was to get Eve to question what God had said – basically to get her to ignore what He HAD said and discount it. “Did God really say?”

    When Jesus Himself says:

    “as the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

    And also :

    Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these

    Then should I be second guessing what he ‘really’ meant? Did Jesus REALLY say?
    Or should I accept that HE meant what HE said.

    The context of that last promise about the works is interesting considering HE says:

    Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work

    That goes very well with the other quote about Jesus sending out His followers, equipped with the same Holy Spirit, in the same way HE was sent by the Father. And it gets to the heart of what my post was about.

    It has nothing to do with men falling for Satan’s lie of “you shall be as God” and everything to do with believing what God actually said without questioning it. And what He said was about His equipping of believers to continue Jesus’ ministry after Jesus returned to the Father.

    Where my personal health situation comes into this is in the fact that it left me with no fall-back position. There is nowhere to go and no one to trust other than God and His Word.
    If I’d been more diligent in the past I would have avoided my current situation, but I thank God that HE’s using these regrettable circumstances to bring about good in my life.

    I’ve had to take steps that I probably avoided in the past because of lack of necessity, like actually seeking His will regarding health – and not only MY health, His will is the same for ALL – that we choose life, so we can live for Him, listening to HIS voice (not contrary theological opinion) and holding fast to Him.

    This time has been a blessing to me, stripping my life of the unessential, and spending much more time with Him and discovering how much I’ve fallen short in my commitment and have underestimated what I as a member of Christ’s body have been equipped and commissioned to be a part of.

    I share what I’m learning in the hope that some may be helped.
    I thank God that I’ve recently had email confirmation that my experience and shared study have been of benefit to some.

  15. Tim, I will respond with separate posts to your comments.

    Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20) NIV

    Jesus declared “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven” (Luke 7:47). If you take John 20 literally then we have the same right/authority. If someone comes to you, confesses working as a prostitute, I don’t think you believe that you can forgive that sin on behalf of God, as Jesus did. The outworking of that theology is the confessional. You can be declared forgiven there too. But that theology was soundly rejected in the Reformation. Jesus forgiving sins was His divine prerogative, a declaration of His deity as the Pharisees clearly understood, “Who can forgive sins but God?”.

    Another evidence of Jesus being God in the flesh as God occurred with a glimpse of His glory – the transfiguration. And when Peter wanted to have him alongside Moses and Elijah a voice thundered from heaven “This is my beloved son”.

    As I’ve said, I spent years trying to make my theology (Jesus operated as man who was anointed with the Holy Spirit, and we can do the same) to fit both life and scripture . The effort involved disappeared when I saw Jesus for who Scripture says He was – God in the flesh, operating as God at times, displaying His humanity at other times.

    The theology that Jesus was operating as just a man is known as ‘Kenosis’, based on Philippians 2, and I believed it. These days I read Philippians 2 for what is says, Jesus becoming a man was a staggering demonstration of humility and self denial. It was not the idea that he somehow left his Godhood in heaven, or that he limited his ability to human ability so He could show us how to move in miraculous power. Again, if you believe that you can do the works Jesus did, then please prove it. You can’t, you won’t, And Tim, for the record, I am thrilled for your wife’s knees and the burn that improved. Praise God. However, two healings does not validate your theology, as if it’s only a sample of what we could be doing.

    God bless, a brother.

  16. You said “Clearly you with your unbelief and lack of faith in God’s word would condemn me to death from the cancer diagnosis I was given?” My response – How dare you !? You don’t know me, you don’t know what or how I think.

    Just so you know, not to present myself as a good man (I’m not), I have read all of your posts, I sympathise deeply for your predicament, and I have been praying for your healing.

    The trouble for me is that your position seems to removes the sovereignty of God. I have seen people hold to what you say and it fail spectacularly four times now, the most recent being my wife’s sister in law. She died a few weeks ago. A godly and faithful woman who followed Christ with all her heart. As I’ve read your posts regarding your cancer I can’t help comparing your faith with hers. She believed God was going to heal her from cancer. Really believed. She told no-one the nature her illness, which like yours, was cancer. Our first inkling that she was seriously sick was when her husband told us she was in a hospice ‘for recuperation’. If anyone was an example of how to believe God for a miracle, it was her.

    If God wants you healed you can rest in that. Come to faith by all means, but please don’t carry the burden of thinking it’s down to you. Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith and if He wants you to be healed by having faith, He will get you there.

    Sickness and death are simply part of a fallen world. For all of my efforts to live in a realm of power and healing I have come to see that I was chasing a theology that would make us little gods, where we are in charge and have dominion over things like sickness. God often heals, no question. But a simple reading of the New Testament shows me that sickness was just a part of life for the early church. Healing was not the norm. Or do you think that everyone died peacefully in their sleep? He may have mercy on you and keep you here for your family and friends, and I hope he does, but Tim, death is not the end. For centuries the true church has had it’s focus on things above, the life to come. Only the past few decades have we moved to a focus on triumphalism in life now, and it’s historically an anomaly, not the norm.

    Your position (in my opinion) places far too much responsibility on you believing God just right. You can believe God just right all you want, but if He says it time to go, you aren’t going to change that. If He wants you healed then follow His leading and I will rejoice with you when He does.

    He does want you at rest in Him and His love for you.

    I’m at peace sharing all that with you because God loves you. He is not a teaser who causes us to strive to almost get to the plateau of faith we need and then say, “Shucks, you nearly had enough faith for me to heal you”. God’s not like that.

    Again, I sincerely hope and pray you get the remission you need.

    “so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labour; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”

    Praying for you, abrother7.

  17. Thank you, Roger, for sharing your reading of “remit” — as Jesus is my elder brother, not also-rand [to be understood in the context I mean and not to denigrate all others], while he did limit himself in demonstration at the same time he was more. We can learn from various versions of the writings of the Bible, as translators make choices and are not God Almighty — some better choices are in this version, others in that or another. Then study into the language is helpful. And there is the Holy Spirit in our living lives helping us to understand.

  18. You don’t know me, you don’t know what or how I think

    Clearly there is a lot about you and how you think that I don’t know. But your previous comment and this one show a regrettable disregard for the truth of God’s word and a strange ideas of “god’s sovereignty” that allows God to undermine His own word by contradicting it.

    You yourself opposed the idea that followers of Jesus would do the same works HE did, and greater. And yet it was Jesus Himself who said that would be the case. And then you said my “theology,” that expressed what Jesus had said, “devalues the sovereignty of Jesus”. How can believing Jesus devalue HIs sovereignty? Don’t you think HIs sovereignty is more “devalued” by insisting what HE said wasn’t true?

    When Paul was considering the alternatives “to live is Christ, to die is gain” he chose that life in continued service to Christ was preferable to what he considered would be “better” for himself.

    And no, my position doesn’t place too much responsibility on me “believing right” – it just requires me to BELIEVE in HIM and HIS word instead of the dead and destructive theologies propagated by too many in the church – like the very popular John MacArthur (see my recent post “Be Healed”) who for no valid reason insists that Psalm 103 doesn’t refer to the healing all physical diseases, but all diseases of the soul. How many people have gone to an early grave for believing lying teaching like that?

    As for myself I will trust the Lord, His word and His will, not the warped faithless teachings of men.

    I sincerely apologise if I seem harsh and blunt, but far too much damage has been done by people who insist their theology has more validity than the clear revelation of scripture – and then have the ironic audacity to talk about, and claim they adhere to, “sola scriptura“, while teaching their listeners that what they have read in scripture doesn’t mean what it says, but that it really means…
    (add teacher’s preferred doctrine).

  19. Jesus becoming a man was a staggering demonstration of humility and self denial. It was not the idea that he somehow left his Godhood in heaven

    I never said that He left His divinity in heaven. He never ceased to be God.
    I have written that His ministry to others was never done under His own authority or by His own power, but under the authority of the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit. His choice.

    HE then commissioned His followers to continue His ministry under the power of the Holy Spirit and in HIS authority.

    As the Father sent Jesus, so HE sent His followers.

    Dismissing that reduces the life of believers to dead religion and followers of faithless theology – as unfortunately has too often been the case.

  20. Thank you Tim,

    You say I don’t believe the words of Jesus. Yes Tim, I do. All of them. I just think that your interpretation of some of His words, such as works and greater works, is wrong, What Jesus said has to have a meaning or interpretation other than what you believe.

    If anyone was going to do ‘greater,’ surely it was the disciples? But they didn’t. Neither did Paul. In fact no-one in recorded history has. So what you believe is an interpretation of Jesus’ words, a doctrine, which has zero supporting evidence in real life,

    When Jesus spoke His words no-one had been led to repentance and saving faith in Him by the witness of His followers. One interpretation, which I suspect is nearer to what Jesus actually meant, is the leading of a soul, destined for a lost eternity, into repentance and saving faith in Christ. That surely is a greater work than any miracle He did. All I know is that He could not have meant miracles, because no-one has done them. It’s a mystery. But no-one has ever done greater works than Jesus, nor will you, nor, I suspect, does He want us to.

    As for the Father sending – He sent Jesus into a hostile God hating world. Jesus has sent us, in the same way, into the same world. When miracles happen it will not be to validate our deity, but to validate the gospel (Acts 14:3). In John 20:21 I think He was sending them to be witnesses to his death and resurrection, miracles were not mentioned. To imply “As the Father sent me” to mean miracle working power is reading something into His words that is not there. Again, I challenge you to prove me wrong. These teachings are great in a sermon but they do not work in real life. We’re just sinners, saved by the amazing grace and mercy of our God, that’s all. He’s sent us to be witnesses and to make disciples, not astound the world with miracles.

    May I state, I don’t like John McArthur and disagree with him on many points. The gifts have not ceased.

    As for God’s sovereignty, there can be no doubt that His sovereign will for many includes suffering (Acts 9:16, Gal 5:11, 2 Tim 2:9. 1 Tim 3:12, 1 Pet 3:14, 1 Pet 4:13 etc etc). I don’t think you will disagree with that. But you say that that suffering cannot include sickness, because God wants us healthy. I’m sorry, this where it starts to get silly, but please follow my reasoning – If you agree that in God’s will we can suffer at the hands of man, do you say that if that man injects us with a deadly disease, we won’t get the disease? Because after all, God’s will cannot include sickness? That’s why I say that it can be in God’s will for us to be sick. We can, and should pray for healing, but if we really believe that it’s not God’s will and should not happen, then why see a doctor? Surely that’s an act of unbelief?

    That’s why I say that insisting that we should be healed may deny God’s sovereignty.

    Most scriptures quoted in regard to health are taken from the Old Testament. As a general principle, taken from the Old Testament, He wanted the Israelites healthy. But we are not Israelites, we are in the New Covenant, and I think it’s a mistake to try and apply what was meant for the nation of Israel, which was Old Covenant, to those of us who are in in the New Covenant. Observation tells me that Christians (in the new covenant) get sick just like the rest of the human race, even those who believe sickness is not God’s will. I think we see more improvements in health and wonderful answers to prayer than non-Christians, but that’s because we are His children, He loves us, and He loves to answer prayer, not because He’s obliged to heal because of some belief that it’s in the Bible. It’s not in the words of Jesus, the book of Acts, nor anywhere else in the New Testament. Surely Jesus would have made it clear if sickness was always outside of God’s will for us?

    God uses suffering for His purpose. The people who say God would not include sickness in that suffering get just as sick as the rest of us.

    Again, my hope and prayer is for you to have remission for your cancer.



  21. Again, my hope and prayer is for you to have remission for your cancer

    I appreciate your willingness to pray, and I don’t want this to be a mere quibbling about terminology, but I’m not interested in “remission” – God’s will is complete healing. And the cancer isn’t mine.

    I’m so sorry to see how you have come to perceive God and His nature. You clearly desire to honour Him and recognise His sovereignty, but seem to have overlooked what He has actually revealed of Himself and His will in His Word.
    And while it may be tempting to dismiss the promises of the Covenant with Israel because we are under a new covenant, it’s not a valid path to take. The new testament through the ministry of Jesus and the early church SHOW the will of the Father in action, demonstrating that new covenant with better promises.

  22. I just think that your interpretation of some of His words, such as works and greater works, is wrong, What Jesus said has to have a meaning or interpretation other than what you believe

    You say that my interpretation of Jesus’s words “is wrong” – and yet I’m accepting His words at face value, that HE meant the words He said.

    But you say that those words have “to a meaning or interpretation other than what [I] believe” – don’t you think with THAT you are taking a massive leap of presumptuous logic, and is in fact YOU applying YOUR interpretation of what YOU think Jesus REALLY meant?

    In other words, Jesus said “ABC”.
    I say Jesus said and meant “ABC” –
    You decide that He must have meant “DEF” because my “ABC” is a wrong interpretation of Jesus’ intended meaning.

    If you dispute the fact that HIs followers have gone on to do greater things – the obvious example of that is the SCALE. Jesus as one man reached up to a several thousand at a time in person during His ministry. After He had returned to the Father, His followers exponentially increased in numbers, each with the ability of reaching their own separate groups of people in countless locations at the same time.

    In more recent years individuals have even been able to speak to 100s of thousands of listeners in person all at once, and to millions at a time via modern technology. Something far greater than a solitary Jesus had the opportunity to achieve.

    As for the same works, they are obvious throughout the book of Acts – and the greater works needs only to have been a matter of the greater scale as mentioned above.

    In reality, Jesus’ word don’t; fit your personal experience or observations so YOU feel it necessary to reinterpret what He said to comply to your own experience based expectations.

  23. Pingback: How Encouraging! | Onesimus Files

  24. Anyone who disagrees with you appears to be lumped into a category where we are accused of unbelief, reinterpreting Jesus’ words, sentencing you to death, or similar. But Tim, I have known 3 people with cancer hold onto what you are believing. All died from the cancer. It was sad and it was a bad witness to those around them. All stated confidently that God was going to heal them. One even laughed in the doctor’s faces when they told him there was no more they could do.

    I have seen others lose everything when they believed similar wrong doctrines, even in the face of circumstances which said they should have acted sensibly.

    However, I heard of one man who came to terms with his impending death. He became such an example of confidence in the Lord that he lead nurses to salvation. You’re going to heaven Tim. The only question is when.

    My prayer is still that you get healing/remission, but beyond that, that you come to a faith that is reasonable. I would rather you enjoy what time you have left at peace with God and His sovereignty, rather than force a doctrine that demonstrably is false. He can heal you at any time, because He is sovereign and mercy is His nature. Hezekiah got 15 more years. But it may be His time to call you home….. Ps 139 And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me

    If you soften your stance I can be contacted at abrother077 at gmail dot com.

    God bless,

    A Brother

  25. “A Brother” I will not be softening my stance regarding trusting God’s word. Softening my stance would be guarantee of death. I only wish you could see and understand the truth, because I have no doubt of your sincerity and concern, and appreciate the fact that you mean well.

    However you have proven that you reinterpret scripture, in particular the words of Jesus, to fit your experience and theology. I addressed that in my previous reply to you. Where Jesus said “ABC”, you insisted He meant “DEF”.
    I’m very sorry, but I really can’t see how you can justify doing that.

    As sad as their loss may be, it makes no difference how many people you know who died of cancer. I won’t be swayed by the experiences of others or the doubt that was attempted to be sown in the mention of them.
    I will continue to hold onto the truth of God’s word and His revealed will, and will believe HIs promises instead of denying them or trying to re-interpret them in a way that makes them meaningless and powerless.

    I have no time for the Calvinist view of God’s sovereignty, The Sovereign Lord has made His will known in HIs Word and He requires us to BELIEVE in Him and His word, not some manmade diluted religion.

    As much as I’d like to consider you A Brother, and have a fruitful friendship, at this time I need people who encourage the building of faith, not someone who persists with faithless commentary.

    I thank my Lord and Saviour, the Messiah Jesus. I thank my heavenly Father, The LORD Who Heals me. And I thank the Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Truth for the truth of God’s Word and the salvation from both sin and disease that it reveals to those with ears to hear and eyes to see.

    Any more comments like the one you made above will not be posted on this blog.
    While I have no doubt that you sincerely mean well, the reality is that you are being used by Satan to dispute the word of God and create doubt.
    Such tactics will not work.

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