Praise the Lord forever and ever!
I am sorry to take up so much of your time - I know I have the Holy Spirit as my guide and God has all the answers, but you are one of His instruments. I have a couple of questions - These answers are important to me.
I attend an Alpha course at the XXXXX Church last year - I wasn't happy with the way they handled things.
What bothered me was the fact that they have these week-end camp after the course. I enjoyed it, experienced a lot of new things like people receiving the Holy Spirit (I did not fall to the ground like some of the others).
The receiving of the Holy Spirit, is one of the most misunderstood doctrines in the Bible. There has been so much written on this subject. Everything from "You had better get it" to "There is no such thing and it is a trick of Satan."
At the moment that you give your heart to Jesus Christ, asking for forgiveness, you will receive the Holy Spirit into your heart. There are just so many verses to document this that I will not quote any here.
What you saw at this XXXXXX Church is not the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Rather it is a refilling. Now that explanation may not be exactly right either. What is happening is that when you come very close to God, you will fall down! You can not stand in the presence of God until God stands you back up. The old testament documents this in many places where it tells you that they fell on their face before God. (There are some who will say that if you fall on your back, or fall anyway except on your actual face that it is not of God. I do not accept that. The Lord God has put me on the floor many times, while I was glorifying God. More times when I was alone praying, than when I was at an altar in a church.) I believe that those persons who deny this, and many others, have never had it, don't know how to get it, and so say that you can't possibly have it either. You may also witness that some of them when getting up from the floor will stagger like they are drunk. In the book of Acts, the people thought that the apostles and Deciples were drunk after they had received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. (The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not the same as receiving the Holy Spirit. They are similar but different in purpose.) What you were witnessing was also Not the receiving of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Lord God put me down many times Before I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, I know that there are fakes out there, Satan is an imitator, but then Satan would not imitate it if the real thing was not out there to start with.
What bothered me was that they said that the Holy Spirit will be working that weekend - I do not agree with things like that as I do not believe that miracles can only happen during certain times or at these "big" gatherings. God is everywhere!
After the camp was the healing service - so again the Holy Spirit was prescribed to do healings that evening (people were healed -)
Miracles do happen anytime, but miracles are more likely to happen when there is a gathering of Believers who are worshiping God. I myself have received miracles, healings, and was ministered to by angels, usually when I am alone. Some when I asked for a miracle, some that were just granted to me by God. However there have been spectacular healings at some church services. Those who go, believing that there will be miracles, are more likely to receive them. If you doubt, you will not receive a miracle.
I have a daughter who says that she might believe in miracles if she ever saw one. I can only say to her, that with her unbelief, that a miracle could jump up and bite her and she would not recognize it or accept that it was a miracle. Jesus said "Only Believe" and "Do not Doubt".
Why limit God to times and places?
Of course, God can not be limited, and is not limited. God does not respond to man's command for God to be at any place at a specific time. However, and this is important to understand, God Said that where two or more persons are gathered in His name that He will be there.
Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
John 11:22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
I have a son that asked God to help him stop smoking and stood on God's word that is in the Book of John, listed above. Today, he does not smoke!! But he didn't ask God how God would do it, trusting that God would do it. Well God certainly did stop him from smoking. At 26 years of age, my son who was a nuclear specialist in the U.S. Navy, came down with a strange case of cancer. This led to one lung being blocked by the cancer and the other lung blowing out like sticking a pin in a balloon. As you would imagine, with no lung to breath with, he died. But the Lord sent him back to life, and had placed every specialist doctor that he needed in that hospital that morning. And kept my son alive when all the doctors said that they didn't understand how he was staying alive because he should have died (period). There were so many miracles that when he came out of the hospital several months later that they knew of at least 40 persons who had come to the Lord God, accepting Jesus Christ as their God, including one of his doctors who had been an atheist. My son went through so much, and his faith was shaken when he was not healed as fast as my son thought that he should be, but then he place all his trust in God and was healed, in God's timing. He has been more than 12 years now without any more cancer. And he no longer Smokes. He is now a Baptist Minister. Isn't God Great. Oh Yes, that is when I came to Jesus also.
Some bad things also happened during this course - the leader of our group (married) got involved in an affair with another woman in our group (also married).
One night I was talking about Satan attacking you - you cannot move or speak and it feels like your body is dead - so, she said it happened to her when she was a child - so after the evening gathering she and the leader went into the Church, they kneeled before the Cross in the Church - and that is where it all started!!
She also gave her testimony during the weekend camp and became a counselor even while having this affair. Thank God, by His mercy, she is in bond anymore. I just wonder why these things can happen? The devil is so sly!
This looks like there is some Unholy Tolerance going on here, if the church leaders or the people of the congregation took no action to put an end to this at once.
Paul told the Corinthians that they had to put an end to the sin that they were tolerating within their church. That if the person did not repent and stop committing this sin, that they Must throw that person out of the church body. They both should have been removed from their leadership positions immediately upon learning of their adultery. God will have mercy, if and only if, they repent, but even if they repented publicly immediately, they still should have been removed from their leadership positions. To have left them in leadership positions is allowing an Unholy Tolerance which will destroy that church body.
In the Assemblies of God, any minister or leader which has a moral failure, will be suspended for two years, and will be unable to hold any leadership position within that time. If they are unwilling to accept this, they have their papers pulled and can never again be an Assembly of God Minister or leader in any of their churches. There are valid biblical reasons for this.
I believe I have a Spirit of discernment - why do others see it as a negative attitude - even call it feeling offended by Jesus and his miracles?
The bible shows that the people do not want to hear what God has to say to them or about them. They would rather listen to Satan who tells them that they are great and that if they continue sinning that God will hug and kiss them as they go into heaven. The people have always rejected what God's prophets and ministers say. Even the Priests and other religious leaders of their day rejected them. When Jesus told the people the truth of God, they killed him. Why would you expect them to treat you any better than they did the prophets and Jesus. Noah preached to the people for 75 to 100 years while he built the ark, they wouldn't believe then, and Jesus said that the end would be like in the days of Noah. Jesus said that when they like you and treat you well that you had better look out, for they only treat their own that way, not God's people.
Rev. Jack Barr