Sunday, December 04, 2005

Word of Faith

what do you know?
what do you think?

i'm struggling with it in my church.

53 comments:

pete porter said...

Carolyn,
The word of faith; is the difference between "a mental assent, and actual experience". What good is the knowledge without the evidence? I think it's on of the most powerful truths. And sadly neglected by the minister's. It demands the evidence, and that is a threat to anyone (especially those who are in a position of authority, as Jesus had his trouble with the leaders of his day) who is not in tune with the spirit.
Be Blessed,
Pete

Carolyn said...

pete, i'm so glad you popped by ... how about a discussion?

would you call yourself 'Word of Faith'?

if i may elaborate, my struggle is with an individual who is strongly into the doctrine. even to the point of saying that those who get sick in the congregation did not have enough faith to remain healthy.

this is causing dissention ... if you have some understanding into this, would you explain the thinking to me?

Carolyn said...

just another question ...

It demands the evidence, and that is a threat to anyone (especially those who are in a position of authority, as Jesus had his trouble with the leaders of his day) who is not in tune with the spirit.

can someone be in tune with the Spirit of God and still get a cold? i'm truly trying to understand.

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,
Yes, I'd be glad to talk. In the past I have been involved with the "Word of Faith" movement, it's now some 20yrs old. There are now newer restored truths, which I won't go into at this time.

1st; there is no place on the earth where we will not be subject to the trails of our faith, so all believers are tested in sickness and other areas. These tests are opportunities to display our faith, not in what we see, but in the word of God. By this the Lord, as the high-priest of our confession, obtaines for us the petition we have made of God. As He said; "you may ask anything in my name and you will recieve, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." There are many others who "obtained a good report", this is the agreement with the word of God. "how can two walk together except they be agreed?"

This is how you were saved. You believed the gospel, you confessed Jesus as Lord. At that point you were saved. There was no change to your body, there may not have been a change in any feeling. But regardless when you-confessed-you-were-saved. What happened or didn't happen next did not add to your salvation. This is the way we are to walk in the Lord. It's always the same; believe the report, confess the report, recieve the report. The physical follows the spirit, not the other way around.

It is not a lack of faith for the believer, for we are in Him, and He in us. We have received Him, the gift of God, so we have His faith. Or He has given us faith, which-ever is easier for you to see.

God said; "my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge". This is the real problem! We don't know and understand all that the Lord accomplished in the work of the Cross and the Resurrection. For in this work all the blessing of God were opened to us. And by this work the removal of everything that was a result of the "fall of man". Sin and sickness were a result of the fall, the cross and resurrection is the removing of these things that were opposed to us. And this by God Himself in Jesus. 1 Peter 2:24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed."

I'll leave it at this for now, so you can consider and respond.

Be Blessed,
Pete

HeyJules said...

Carolyn, I'm not sure this will help, but here's what I "feel."

I was outside of Christianity for almost 25 years (believed in God but no church, no bible reading, desperation praying only - nothing but "belief." Basically, my heart was there but I had totally turned away from pursuing God)

I enjoyed good health the whole time.

In February of this year, I was "reborn" to Christianity and approximately 3 months later started to experience some physical problems that resulted in being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

So, here I am, totally in love with God and overwhelmed by what Christ did for me and now I am more ill than I have ever been in my entire life (even though I am progressing and doing well now.)

I remember when they sent me for the first echocardiogram to see what the problem was...I was lying on the exam table in the dark while the technician worked and I was OVERCOME with the feeling that all this was happening to test my faith. I physically heard something inside me say, "It's a good thing you chose to believe in Me when you did..." and I almost fell off the table in fear.

But...through the entire progression through this illness, I have been more at peace, more in touch with God and more grateful for my life than at any other time before it. I made a choice not to be afraid of my possible physical death and have experienced continued improvement in my condition ever since that day.

Was it a test? I don't know for sure. Was it all just bad timing? Could be. Do I expect to be cured? No...unless it is God's will.

But I know this...

I will not go running into the night blaming God for what has happened to me. I'm a human being and our bodies break down. How can I blame God for having a cold or heart disease when this is the nature of the beast, so to speak?

I stood still and listened to what He needed me to hear through all this and I'm no longer afraid - of anything. Whatever his will is, I'm going with it. Either way - I win, don't I?

Carolyn said...

wow, such neat responses. thanks for taking so much time to think them out!

pete ...i would like to hear about the 'newer restored truths' because what i have read on the net in rebuttal of the movement is not good at all.

your post sounds well balanced and not at all the version that i am hearing at church.

if i understand you correctly, you are saying that it is not faith, but lack of knowledge that leaves some sick.

certainly that corresponds with some things i have witnessed in my own ministry. those who choose not to walk in the Spirit (obedience, dependence, submission - i know, more words that can be misunderstood!) do not receive the freedom (spirit, soul and body) of those who do.

what does this movement think of the demonic and deliverance? this is good, i'm looking forward to your response.

jules ... hugs. i hear you ... and i think i understand what you are saying. this in essence is my struggle.

do you still have this illness because you do not know enough? because you do not have enough faith, or is it a means by which God may draw you closer to Himself.

what better thing could there be than to be drawn closer to Him and if He uses the fruit of negative choices in our history - or generational illness - is it beyond Him to do so??

before i go on ... i was healed of multiple sclerosis in 1998. i am fully aware that God heals. did i have the faith to be healed? nope. i'd really have to say nope. but i was willing to walk in it.

is that faith? hmmm, don't know.

HeyJules said...

I think we're on the same page here. I believe it is Him using the fruits of something negative to draw me even closer to Him. At least, that's been my experience.

I also believe my faith and prayers help to keep the disease from progressing, but that's just my opinion. I have no real proof.

But...I will say this...

I believe some people GET ill because of how they live. I think the stress/body connection is real and I believe sin causes stress so I don't think it's entirely outside the realm of possibility that sin effects our health. However, I don't think ALL health problems are sin-related. I just don't buy that. Unless of course you take into consideration that all humans sin and all humans will get ill and die (unless hit by a bus) so there ya go...

But I'm still NOT signing up that we don't get well because we don't have enough faith. Bull hoey. When your days are up, your days are up. Period.

Okay, I'm done ranting!

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,

"do I expect to be cured? No...unless it is God's will."

This is the "lack of knowledge". Faith begins where the will of God is known. If His will is unknown we cannot have faith.

God was not willing that any should perish. And so we preach salvation, and people have faith and are saved.

God was removing in Jesus the sin of man, and giving new life.

Sin is the cause of everything that destroys. With that removed the power of sickness and infirmity (which are the out-growth of sin) have been destroyed as well.

All that remains it to throw out the old tenant and replace him with the new life of Christ.

In the Cross the sin and there out-growth have been removed. These are God facts to those who are in Christ.

By faith we agree with God and claim our rights and freedom in Christ.

Either demons or devils or sickness or infirmity; all are subject to this new life in Christ. And all things of the old Adam are replaced by the new creation. The very life of God in us. We are flesh of His flesh. Do you think Jesus is sick? No, throw out that old tenant the liar, and believe in the life of God.

Be Blessed,
Pete

Gayla said...

This gospel of prosperity, health and wealth is dangerous and deceptive AND unbiblical.

What does the Word have to say about it?

Job 1:1
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.

Job was a righteous man.

Job 1:12
Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.

God's sovereignty on Job's life.

Job 1:21-22
He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

Job 2

In Job 31:23, Job says:
"For calamity from God is a terror to me, And because of His majesty I can do nothing.


******

In 2 Cor 12:7-9, Paul says:
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself!

Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.


The truth is: sometimes illness/catastrophes/'bad' things - whatever - is a result of sin and its consequences. Sometimes it's satan (WITH the express permission from God) and sometimes it's just God. Some people God wants to heal, and some people God wants to develop. THAT is what's biblical.

John 9:1-3
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Sin is not the sole cause that destroys. Here's just one verse, but I encourage you to do a word search on the word 'calamity' and see just exactly who is responsible for sending it (at times).

Amos 3:6
If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?

Personally, I'm glad that ALL things in my life are orchestrated by God, for it is He who is at work to complete me. HIS grace is sufficient, and HIS purpose will be accomplished - however He chooses to do it. What God desires from us is obedience and a humble heart - He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6 & 1 Pet 5:5)

And I would have to ask, since the Bible says that faith is a 'gift' from God, just how does a person go about mustering up "enough" of it? And what exactly is "enough?" How is that measured?

Gayla said...

"can someone be in tune with the Spirit of God and still get a cold?"

Carolyn, this question surprises me, missy!

Godly people - people who are walking with the Lord - get colds AND they get cancer, AIDS, emphysema, heart problems, get in car accidents, lose their children; AND they die. Every one of we Believers is going to die.

Bryan and I have gone round and round about this subject many times. ;) We're on the same page about a lot of things, but we don't see eye to eye on this one. Bryan, I read a lot of your 'thoughts' and 'opinions' but I still don't see a lot of Scripture. You know I've agreed with you before that, of course the Bible shows where Jesus healed and then stated 'your faith has made you well.' No issues there. But He also healed simply because He was willing. But what about the preponderance of Scripture that points to something quite different?

Sorry Carolyn, to ramble on...

Carolyn said...

Carolyn, this question surprises me, missy!

gayla, you are too funny. the issue of our congregants getting a cold is the very battle ground that the Word of Faith proponents are walking.

essentially 'they' (the ever anonymous 'they' ;) ) are saying that the individual did not have enough faith to ward away the cold ... and then not enough faith to be healed immediately of it.

one goes so far as to say that he has not been sick in years!

i've just been reminded by Holy Spirit that we have talked about this before in my blog in relation to seeds and i thought i might have a handle on it, but the war rages on from the 'other side'.

i'm looking for understanding from those who are proponents. i really need to understand if our 'they's' are unbalanced in this doctrine.

i love your Scriptural explanation, gayla, and see your point completely.

as i've said before, i believe the truth is somewhere in the middle but since i do not truly understand this doctrine in the way it is practiced generally, brian could you give me a take on how the 'other side' sees this issue? (if that makes sense)

i also need to get a handle on the thought surrounding the ministry of demonic deliverance...

Carolyn said...

sorry to add, the proponents refuse to discuss this issue with me, but have infiltrated into the congregation and have caused dissention regarding a discipleship ministry i lead. (cleansing stream)

as one of the pastors, i must address this, but from a position of knowledge ... as you said, brian, it is lack of knowledge that is the problem.

does this make sense? i'm so rushed for time, i don't have time to adequately express this issue ...

pete porter said...

Hi again Carolyn,

Let's go at this a different way.

In Isaiah 53:4; "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

This is the message we use to show the mercy of God in salvation. The forgiveness of sin. But that is only part of what is said; the other part is the healing and deliverance from what sin caused. All of these were also born away in the Cross.

This fact is also brought out in Mark's gospel, and in 1 Peter. In two or three witnesses every word is established.

What is a mystery to me is why would anyone not want to accept this good news? Is it that we are still ruled by our own understanding and thoughts? Humility is the act of deferring to a greater authority. We need to submit our thoughts to the word of God. To be corrected and renewed in the spirit of our mind. This is a work of the Spirit.

God works in faith, calling those things that are not as though they were. We have that same faith, to believe God in spite of what we see or feel. Faith is of and in the heart not the head. I can trust that God told the truth and will accomplish His word. As did Abraham, who inspite of the deadness of his body believed God, and received that which God promised.

Poor ol' Job. Let him rest. The doctrines of the gospel were not known to him. He in his day pleased God. But we have a new covenant in Christ Jesus.

What you say? Be Blessed,
Pete

Carolyn said...

i love your question ... what you say?? very good and i am blessed.

oh pete, i am not in any way disputing the good news of healing available through the finished work of the Cross. not at all! i live it every day of my life and am overwhelmed that God would have such grace!

i am not disputing faith either! the act of healing increased my faith!

what i question ... and i truly do not come from an argumentative stand ... is the polarization of the word of faith doctrine and the apparent resistance that God could choose to work other ways than what the doctrine states.

i have two questions i would love for you to answer ...

first, is it possible (in your opinion or the doctrine of WOF) that He can choose to delay healing for the spiritual and soulish good of the individual knowing that the process would work for their best character?

second, you did not answer the question on the position of WOF of the doctine of demonic deliverance (from oppression, not possession) of believers?

thanks and i so appreciate the tone of this conversation. it's good. i so appreciate you taking the time to visit my humble abode. if you are as busy as i am, it is a sacrifice and i appreciate it.

gayla, the above goes for you as well. you are a busy girl and i love your input.

i have to admit that at this point my theology aligns more with yours, gayla, but i am so willing to state that it is my theological training that could be bringing me to that point. we all speak from the worldview of those who have taught us, right? i only want the balanced truth of what Scriptures say.

Gayla said...

"Poor ol' Job. Let him rest. The doctrines of the gospel were not known to him. He in his day pleased God. But we have a new covenant in Christ Jesus.

OK then, since you don't like OT evidence (although you quoted Isaiah), how about Paul? Maybe you'd like to address his "thorn" that God would not remove. The thorn given to him to keep him from exalting himself. Or, how about the man blind from birth? He was listed in my first comment, as well.

Or perhaps Stephen - he was stoned to death. Or an number of other apostles who were, well, murdered - but not before they were beaten and imprisoned. The ones who were far from 'prosperous.'

Maybe this: (also NT)
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. (Phil 4:11-14)


Here's what I don't get. I have most definitely and willingly admitted to the fact (b/c it's in the Word) that Jesus did heal many due to their faith. He also healed at His on discretion. Plus there is no evidence in Scripture that ALL Believers were healed of all sicknesses.

And for the record, I'm with you too Carolyn - There's no doubt that healings occur today!! You've seen it; I've seen it.

To answer your questions:
"first, is it possible (in your opinion or the doctrine of WOF) that He can choose to delay healing for the spiritual and soulish good of the individual knowing that the process would work for their best character?

Of course. All we have to do is look to Paul (as one example). (see my above comment) Not only Paul, but I personally know many folks - men and women of God - who are or have been ill - and who even die.

As to how the WOF movement looks at demonic oppression, I don't know, being that I am not involved it it. Personally, I think Scripture gives evidence to the fact that it can/does occur and that Believers are equipped and called to minister to and deliver people who are influenced by demons. I am NOT one to go looking for a demon around every corner.

Carolyn said...

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. (Phil 4:11-14)

yes, galya. that is good. i'd love to hear bryan's (or pete's ... i get a little cofuffled with his identity ;) )opinion on this Scripture and the others posted.

I am NOT one to go looking for a demon around every corner.

yup, me either. but it can be the extreme of the 'other side of the coin' as i am wondering. i believe with this issue as with many others that the truth is in the balance of the two. otherwise there would not be Scriptures to support each side ... especially so much that there can be doctrines developed for each thought.

i know i sound like a broken record, but i am truly searching for the common ground. only there can i begin to bring reconcilliation to the precious sheep that are at risk of being scattered.

thanks for your input ... bryan (?) i'm looking forward to your answers.

Carolyn said...

oh, one more ... the fellow who is responsible for our internet radio site has some of my tapes and is transferring them to another format which can be posted on my website. hopefully soon they will be available.

i would love it if anyone who critique them from their perspective and theology. it is my heart to bring reconcilliation and balance to the church ... at least those who are in my sphere of influence.

thanks!

Gayla said...

Woohoo Carolyn! Can't wait to hear you!!

I certainly didn't mean to "cofuffle" you, C. LOL! :)
I think I have this straight - Pete's name is really Bryan, but Pete is a nickname somebody gave in college?? Something like that. (He'll correct me if I'm wrong!) I've always just called him Bryan.

"yup, me either. but it can be the extreme of the 'other side of the coin' as i am wondering. i believe with this issue as with many others that the truth is in the balance of the two. otherwise there would not be Scriptures to support each side ... especially so much that there can be doctrines developed for each thought."

I agree with you. Totally. But really, the only One who can pierce the hearts of these people is going to be God. Obviously, you need to point them to the truth, but the rest is up to God. So, don't put too much pressure on yourself. 'K?

Carolyn said...

gayla, i love you so much. no pressure, as their pastor i want so much to understand their position and to love them from that place.

big fat hugs. loves ya.

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,
I tried to comment 3 times, but this thing keeps eating them.
Be Blessed,
Pete or Bryan

pete porter said...

Horrayyy!,
I think I'm in.
Hello to Caroyln, and also to Gayla,
1st; faith has the evidence in the heart. The time is now as far as the believer is concerned. The manifestation is in the Lord time. Jesus put it this way; "they shall recover".

2nd; We would have to leave earth to be beyond the infulence of devils. If we aren't fighting him on some level, then we aren't having any effect on the world.

3rd; In a war not all people are in the front line. The warriors are, and this is those that Gayla has refered to in a large part. These were the pioneers, and we share in the victories that they gained. Our whole present state is build on the sacrifices of others who have gone on before us. And we reap the benifits.

4th; By focusing on the war we would have a distorted view of God's overall plan for His people. The right view is; "the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and joy and peace in the Holy Ghost. And again; "Beloved I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospereth."

Be Blessed,
Pete (or Bryan)

Carolyn said...

hey, pete/bryan. i am so glad that you continue on to have such patience with my attempt to understand.

one ... if i understand you correctly (the counsellor in me ...) you are saying that faith is mature when the heart is in agreement with what faith is saying? they shall recover does not suggest a time line, but just that they shall recover in the Lord's time? does that recovery include dying from disease (ie cancer) into eternal life?

two ... about the demonic, this is an issue which is divisive in our church. the 'they's' hold that the demonic cannot and should not bother a Christian to the point where they need deliverance. so .. those who have deliverance are not christian. this is causing great confusion wth our sheep.

three ... i'm not totally sure that i understand your third point. are you stating that the NT references gayla made were only for that time in history?

four ...yes, we cannot only focus on the war. and certainly when we are living in the Kingdom of God, it is righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost. but ... some precious well meaning Christians need to be 'loved into' that state. telling them that they are 'just not getting it ... just speak it' and not showing them step by painful step how to do it leaves them confused. that's not the Lord.

in my counselling room, i spend most of my time doing the above - loving them through their trials. they are not getting that from what i can see .. just the Word and no practical support through the tough times.

how can we prosper and be in health when our soul is not prospering because it needs to be carried?

this has been a great discussion. i pray that you do not think we are going around in circles. maybe i'm speaking another vernacular, but i still don't get the problem.

please help me! ;)

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,

One; "dying to received eternal life", there are people who may only be capable of dying. Not able to walk a life in Christ. Then again maybe what they thought was faith was hope. Example; if you asked a person if they are saved. And they say, "Jesus is the savior, I'll leave it up to Him". Do you think that person is saved? No. It's by personal acceptance of Jesus as savior, and now I am saved. "I have been saved by Jesus my Lord." See the difference, if it's hope as in the first answer it has no effect.

two; about the demonic, who ever thinks that the devil can't or won't bother and harass a christian has obviously never done one thing for the Lord's work. Children are not good teachers!

three; no, only that some wars are over and we enjoy the benifits of their victories. Such as Paul's afflictions; we enjoy the revelation of the gospel by the Spirit that was given to him. Even though we are not the Church of Corinth, or Galatians..etc.

fourth; The truth of the Lord is always the right way. The love of the Lord is always the right way. The work of the Lord is always along these lines. If I had to come up with one answer to all the problems of the world and all the people in it, it would be this. "Have faith in God". Seek Him, and you will find rest.

Be Blessed,
Pete

Carolyn said...

this is good, bryan. thanks!

One; "dying to received eternal life", there are people who may only be capable of dying. Not able to walk a life in Christ. Then again maybe what they thought was faith was hope. Example; if you asked a person if they are saved. And they say, "Jesus is the savior, I'll leave it up to Him". Do you think that person is saved? No. It's by personal acceptance of Jesus as savior, and now I am saved. "I have been saved by Jesus my Lord." See the difference, if it's hope as in the first answer it has no effect.
i think i might be starting to understand what is causing the dissention. if i understand you, those who die of cancer did not walk with Christ or in the Spirit?

two ... yes, the enemy certainly attacks thos who are working for the Lord! but ... what about deliverance? harassing and receiving deliverance are two different things. isn't the belief that the enemy cannot attack because that door was closed at the Cross 2000 years ago?

three ... i'm sorry, Bryan. i still don't understand. is the thorn in the flesh only for new testiment times as an example, or was Paul full of the Spirit and yet ill?

four ... yes, the truth, love and work of the Lord is always the right way. but ... just saying 'have faith and seek Him' will not net much help in the counselling room. or is the thinking that counselling is not needed?

bryan, i really am being serious, trying to understand the 'thinking'.

now ... is it possible that all of the above things i am bringing up would be considered as unbelief? is it possible that the doctrine is that if you speak it long enough, things will line up with God's Word? what happens in the meantime while their faith is being strenghtened? and what about God giving us all a measure of faith? am i understanding this correctly?

thanks again so much for your continued patience and respect of my questions.

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,

1st; yes, you understand. See this is not so hard.

2nd; in order to be free from infulence of devil's, we would have to have perfect knowledge of their wiles. Believers get a new nature, with the mind of Christ; but we have to renew our mind by the revelation of the Spirit. It's a process, hence from faith to faith, victory to victory, glory to glory.

3rd; paul didn't have a sickness, shhh don't tell. It was a messenger of satan, a evil being, a real person (personality). Who stirred up the people in the towns that paul preached in which caused all the afflictions. Afflictions: beatings, stoning, and the list that paul included in the same text.

4th; this is tough. Each person comes with a different situation. The word for each would be directed to another area. I would say for you to be led by the spirit is the only way. This requires of you a steadfast faith in the Lord's willingness and power to help His people. If their faith is not to the level to recieve from the Lord, then your's has to go into God and get it and bring it forth for them. Then you have to help them to believe and recieve! You have to bring them to a place where they will act on the word of the Lord, in faith, knowing that they have recieved what they asked for.

My good friend Carolyn; fear not, if the Lord has placed you here, He will surely empower you with His enabling. This is the honor of the "sons of God", to show forth His glory by His power.

Be Blessed,
Bryan

pete porter said...

Carolyn,

One more thought. "the thorn in the flesh a new testament thing".

No, the devil was here before man, the devil arrayed himself against the plan of God for man from mans beginning. The devil even Lord Jesus had to deal with him. They wanted to throw Jesus off a cliff after His first service; talk about strong preaching.

Be Blessed,
Bryan

Carolyn said...

bryan, your patience and courtesty is truly a blessing. thank you for reading and responding. i so appreciate it.

i have a few more questions if you do not mind, i've highlighted them in italics...

one - i'm not sure that i do understand.

my precious mentor went to be with the Lord (at 72) in January after an 8 year battle with cancer where he stood on the Word, prayed, preached, continued to work, etc., etc., and taught me more about faith and standing in the face of illness than i could ever express.

not only did he walk with the Spirit, he was full of Him! so ... there must be some other factor ... one of us is incorrect, or maybe, just maybe there is a place of balance in the doctrine??

two ... i agree with you completely here .. and so we've found some good middle ground.

three ... i've heard that theory about paul before. since we really were not told what it was, wasn't paul's message is speaking about it was that we are to know that His grace is sufficient no matter what we are going through. doesn't that come against some of the doctrine of WOF?

four ... and i am really enjoying this sharpening, by the way ... i agree with you here. people come to me because i am able to equip them to deal with their issues. so ... does coming for counselling suggest that there is unbelief?

The devil even Lord Jesus had to deal with him. They wanted to throw Jesus off a cliff after His first service; talk about strong preaching.

you literally made me laugh out loud at that! strong preaching indeed. i love it.

i must tell you, i am extremely blessed by your spirit, bryan. thanks again.

i'm so blessed to be in a wonderful fellowship of precious people and i know the Lord will anoint me to minister to them. i believe that i must study to show myself approved. never, ever, do i want to be a stumbling block to my brother or sister, or to offend someone. i will choose to be a minister of reconcilliation ... that really is my heart. i can only do that if i make an effort to understand.

i cannot tell you how much you have helped me in this area. i feel better equipped to deal with this.

see-through faith said...

NOT quite sure what this actually means. I'll be back later to read the comments again incase there's an explanation buried ....

be blessed

Carolyn said...

what do you not understand, lorna??

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,

1st; the secret things (the issues of the heart) belong to God. I know that the Lord watches over His word to perform it. Also there is the issue of authority, as in "speak to this mountain, be thou removed". But that's another discussion. It has to do with our discussion, but brings on another realm beyond what we have been talking about.

2nd; we settled,

3rd; His grace is sufficient! I was in the "word of faith" over 20yrs ago, I'm not sure of what there doctrines are now. How-ever this was given to Paul to keep him from being puffed up because of all the revelations. I don't know of anyone in that situation today.

4th; does counseling suggest that there is unbelief. No, lack of knowledge of what to believe.

Okay, so now I want to ask you a very important question. Not to judge, but so I know how to form my answers. Just a yes or no is fine with-out any explaination. Are you "baptised in the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues".

This comment box is getting long, if you perfer stop at my blog, I have a mailbox and you can e-mail me if you like, I'll be able to get your e-mail address from that.

Be Blessed,
Bryan

Carolyn said...

Are you "baptised in the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues".

oh yes, yes, yes, yes! does that throw your theology out of the window, bryan?

i'd love to keep this going here if you don't mind ... or we could take it over to your blog. i know there are many people reading who are not getting into the conversation.

i am seeing that there is a polarization of belief on the two sides. i'm trying to see where the two meet ... unfortunately, there seems to be unwillingness on the 'other side' to see where other theology can coexist. does that make sense or am i being too vague?

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,
"does that throw your theology out of the window?. No,no,no, I am glad we have this in common. Also it's a lot easier to speak of spiritual things to someone who has experience.

This is fine here; no need to move.

Back to authority;
The next thought is Jesus called his disciples and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. Matt 10. Here authority is given to believers. Notice Jesus didn't say to ask of the Father, he didn't tell them to pray. Or to bring them to Him. They (we) have the authority in His name. Some times we are waiting for the Lord to do, what He's told us to do.

Enough for now, I'll come back later. I am relieved that you are a person of the spirit so that we both can experience the greatness of the Lord.

Be Blessed,
Bryan

Carolyn said...

funny, bryan. i'm sincerely interested .. i pray you know my heart by now ... what made you think i was not a person of the Spirit?

on to your point ... i'm really loving this sharpening.

yes, Jesus did give us authority - that was the point of the Cross. coheirs, and all that. what an awesome gift! wow.

we are in such agreement here ... in reality, my ministry is one of deliverance and inner healing. even though i hold a 'secular' psychology degree, my major was Theology, thus "Christian Counselling". i teach 'secular' psychology where it agrees with the Bible .. and it does in many,many places because these men and women were studying God's image in us, right? but that's another fantastic post!

God certainly does not expect us to bring those who need healing (spirit, soul, or body) to Him, but to do it ourselves and essentially to teach it to them so they can do it themselves.

i see myself very much as the emergency room or the icu unit of the Church. i work with Holy Spirit to get them well ... they go out and make disciples! awesome!

it is done through teaching them the Word. to speak it positively, to claim it and to walk in it.

but ... i love them exactly where they are. you cannot give filet to a baby can you? but do i tell them they're a baby and make them feel inferior to my incredibly large faith? (being a little sarcastic, sorry, Lord!) no ... i love them with the love a Christ and realize i have as much brokenness that needs to be healed up - but in other areas.

so tell me (and this is not with sarcasm at all, but genuine desire for unity) ... how is that ... or my language in emnity with Word of Faith??

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,
Another though, there seems to be two camps. Those who believe that Jesus works are for today, such as the gifts of the Spirit, healing, deliverance, visions, dreams, revelations...etc.

Then there is the other camp that does not believe. These basicly think that what-ever God wants He will do sovererignly, apart from the church. Sort of a divine lottery.

Is this the division you are refering to?

Be Blessed,
Bryan

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,
You posted while I wasn't looking!

As far as I can see, the "word of faith" church should be glad to have you on their roles!

I envy your position. It's better than a salesman who has a endless supply of buyers!

Of course we all have that position, but we have to go find our buyers!

What a great way to spend your days, ministering the word and Holy Ghost in power.

Be Blessed,
Bryan

Carolyn said...

you've got that right, bryan. i can't tell you how incredible each and every day is for me.

thank you for your very kind words. i truly appreciate them.

what tires me is a lack of unity in the house. i grieve for those who walk in offense.

the division is not what you suspect. there are four individuals who are strong WOF - that's all they speak and hear - but it appears very much to the extreme side ....

example
you cannot speak that you are ill - you are healed not matter how it looks. for those who are not taught in WOF, they take it to the extreme and get hurt (offended) and will not come to church if they have a cold.

one of the leaders would not admit to the congregation that he had to be driven home one evening after a dizzy spell. they had prayed, it had left but it came back.

pride i guess.

hear my heart ... i love these people but it grieves me that they will not be honest.

then .. 'they' have spoken publically - not directly to me - against my ministry - cleansing stream - which is a discipleship ministry. but we also do deliverance. 'they' believe that there is no need for deliverance as the enemy was defeated on the cross 2,000 years ago .. so if he has place in your life, you are not saved... or mature ... or ???

sad. it has left many broken.

the worst part ... 'they' will not sit down and talk to me about it directly. my heart aches. so i have taken it upon myself to understand the theology ... thus this very fascinating discussion ... so i can find the middle ground and speak 'their' language to bring unity.

thanks ... is there anything else??

Gayla said...

Hmmmmm...

I've been baptized in the Holy Spirit. I do not speak in tongues.

My theology leans to the reformed side. I believe in the complete sovereignty of God.

I believe all the gifts of the Spirit are alive and active today. Nothing biblical to indicate otherwise. God equips His children with the gifts as He sees fit - sovereignly, if you will.

My husband is man of God, who has practiced the gifts of the Spirit for over 30 years. He does have the gift of tongues. He suffers chronic pain, 24/7, due to degenerative disk disease. At this point God's answer to 'healing' is no.

On which 'side' does this leave me?

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,
Your example; you cannot speak that you are ill. Our words have power so we need to watch what we say. But in James he says, "is any sick among you", so denial is not the way.

As a person of authority, such as a minister, we have to be watchful against pride. So James concludes, "let them call for the elders", in Christ there is no one man show, only one God.

"They believe there is no need for deliverance as the enemy was defeated". The last enemy to be defeated is death, are they going to die? Then the ministry is valid.

It would be wonderful if every Christian came into this new life with full power and wisdom and understanding. Walked in the spirit, and followed God with the whole heart. Triumpant and went from victory to victory, from faith to faith, and from glory to glory.

So then the present doctrines, no matter what they are have errors. Or do these leader claim that they can produce such a man or woman every-time without fault? This then is "your language", produce all this, the will of God for everyone, and then I'll agree you have a perfect wisdom. Show me the fruit!!

Is this arrogance, no. Paul preached such a gospel with power. There is no need to apolize for truth.

Hi Gayla, my good friend I ask you to consider Paul's admonition; 1 Cor 3:21 "All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future-all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God." And again; "no matter how many promises of God, they are all yes and Amen (so be it) in Christ.

So I think the devil has maskeraded as truth, but has told you a lie. "all are yes" in Christ. If God spared not his only begotten son, but freely offered him up for us, how will he not with Him (Jesus) freely give us all things.

Be Blessed,
Bryan

pete porter said...

Gayla,

God answer to healing is always "Yes". He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Be Blessed,
Bryan

Carolyn said...

hi gayla. i so understand what you are saying and think i might have the answer to the balance of the middle. bear with me and see if you agree with this:

God's healing is always available and your precious Roger has received it in spirit and soul. the body part is his and it is on its way. i know you believe that. God's grace is sufficient for the present time where the healing has not manifested yet, but the power that raised Christ from the dead is present in him and will bring healing ... in God's time.

bryan, does that fit in? i simply cannot agree with the eventual outworking of what we've been discussing - ie., if you are not healed, it is because your faith is lacking or you are not walking in the Spirit or you .. you.. you...

i just cannot swallow that. but ... i certainly agree that the healing is there available for us. this is where God's sovereignty and our faith must meet. it is 'but God ... ' not 'but i ... '

it is still His time and not ours. He knows the plans He has for us and He knows when this will come. it is His plan and His time. we need to lne up under that and trust Him to work out all things for the good. and continue to speak it in agreement with the Scriptures.

i know from my counselling practice that if my clients come in mumbling and sad and complaining that all i have to do is teach them how to speak the truth of God's Word and they leave encouraged. when they speak life into their circumstances, they may not immediately change in the physical, but their spirits are encouraged and life is easier.

does that make sense? does that language 'fit'? i'm still trying.

pete porter said...

Carolyn,
you..you..you.. it is but God.. not but I? Where did this come from! Have I elevated man over God or his word?
Gayla said; "at this point God's answer to "healing" is no." I question that, not the word.

Anyway if you can't believe me then you would not recieve anything from me.
Bryan

Carolyn said...

bryan, i am sorry if my post offended you. that was not my intention.

my understanding of the doctrine is that it is the strength and faith and knowledge of the individual ... reminding God of His promises, Word, etc. that's what i meant by 'you ... (or us) ... you ... you. i didn't mean you as in bryan!

i was simply trying to state that it is us working with God. the Scriptures often tell us it is trhough Christ ...

does that make sense? i pray i've been able to express myself in a way which can be understood.

pete porter said...

Carolyn,
The faith of God is a product of Himself. So with us it is God the Spirit who imparts his life of faith in us and through. Apart from God there is no faith or life.

Here is our part; the measure of delight, and weight that we give to the word, the more importance and submission to it, the greater we honor and obey and heed the word regardless of our own thoughts and understanding or opinions.

If we follow hard after the truth of God. Then to our great joy we find that God is pleased to give us more light and even the light of His own presence, so that we may see and appreciate and apprehend that which God has accomplish, and will accomplish for us and through us so that we can worship in truth and in spirit.

God then causes faith to be generated in us, enabling us to believe in Him for even greater things. It is God who works in us. And according to the place we give His word, we will in His light, see light.

We are all growing in the Lord to one degree or another. That is good, only we are not to judge the word by human experience. The word is of God, and not of man. We are to bring the word into human experience to effect the will of God. And this by the direction of the Spirit.

In this Jesus becomes the faith in us by which we believe in Him, and it is also the faith that belongs to Him. The gift of God is Christ, and the faith in us is also Christ.

Be Blessed,
Bryan

Carolyn said...

The faith of God is a product of Himself. So with us it is God the Spirit who imparts his life of faith in us and through. Apart from God there is no faith or life.
it is funny how we have been trying to say the same thing, bryan.

yes, the measure of delight and weight we give the Word ... and that i do. this bringing me from glory to glory, understanding Him. intimate with Him. this being the Spritual aspect which flows to every other part of us.

if i am at peace with God in my Spiit ... walking in the Spirit ... my soul and my body will relax and i will enjoy more health.

i couldnt' agree with you more on this, bryan!

the sticking point remains those who are presently ill, doesn't it? i was thinking about this last night.

walking in the Spirit, we pray for those who are presently ill (call the elders) and do not make them feel that their faith is less because they are sick. faith is a gift, anyway.

there is my sticking point and it appears it is merely the pride of those i am dealing with. and pride is never something that i will attempt to find the middle ground on. i'll just love them where they are and teach them on humility.

how's that? are we any closer?

gayla??
bryan??
anyone else??

Carolyn said...

what i meant above is the pride of those who suggest that our brothers and sisters who are ill are somehow deficient in their faith. :o

pete porter said...

Hi Carolyn,
In all our ways we have to trust in the love of the Lord; in spite of all our faults, whether young or old.
Be Blessed,
Bryan

see-through faith said...

our faith will make us well

not our lack of faith is what makes us ill

God's ways are REALLY hard to understand a lot of the time. My goddaughter was ill most of her little life. We buried her few weeks after her 7th birthday this year.

We prayed
We fasted
We prayed
We praised Him
We love Him
We cried with Him
We cried out to Him
We repented
We tithed better
We prayed more
We fasted again
We encouraged one another

and at the end of the day we stood around her coffin united in our love for her, for one another and our bewilderment that our prayers hadnt been anwered the way we wanted.

It was not our lack of faith that was 'the problem' - I do not believe that - simply that God had other plans.

His ways are wonderful but often very hard. Nellie isn't in pain or suffereing anymore, but we miss her dearly. And that's ok. That's how we honour her little life. With tears and with thankfulness for having known her.

Does any of this make sense?

Gayla said...

Lorna, I'm so sorry for your loss. And, it makes perfect sense.

That's the point - it is GOD who is the giver of life, and it GOD who takes it away. And it is GOD who heals.

And the Bible is clear. Sometimes we are ill (or whatever trial it might be) because of sin, sometimes it is satan (through the EXPRESS PERMISSION, thereby the will of God) and sometimes it is God Himself who brings it.

Bryan, you dance around it, but you never actually come out and say it - people are ill due to their own fault. And if they're not healed, it's due to their own fault. That is what you beleive, is it not?

"Gayla said; "at this point God's answer to "healing" is no." I question that, not the word."

What EXACTLY do you question? What EXACTLY are you saying here? Do you think I'm lying when I tell you that my husband is a godly man? That he is a man of faith? That he TRUSTS God, and what He has for him? That perhaps God wants to develop him, as opposed to heal him? That even in the midst of a debilitating (sp?) disease, my husband trusts that God's ways are RIGHT and GOOD? That his disease doesn't change the righteousness or the goodness of God?

"God's ways are REALLY hard to understand a lot of the time."

Exactly, Lorna. He TELLS us that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours! That is why we TRUST Him, that His purposes will be accomplished, as we read in His word that they always have been.

God is not Santa Claus. How dare we expect the God of the universe, the Creator of all things - including us - to answer all things we ask according to what WE want. It is about Him, not us. It is about His glory, His name and His renown. He will bring that glory in any manner He so chooses.

Oh, Carolyn, sorry about the rant. :) I think you're right - you have to pray for these people; show them your humility before God, and guide them in these things. God is the only one who can pierce their hearts with Truth. I have seen people who think that healing is practically automatic in utter despair and confusion when their loved one isn't healed, and in fact, dies.

Roger's sister's mother-in-law, for example. Her husband, some of the family, their church family - they were just dumbfounded when she actually died. And then they blamed her and themselves for not 'praying hard enough' or not having 'enough faith' to make her well. They completely took God out of the equation - as if it all depended on them! This is a VERY wrong and deciving doctrine.

The End!

pete porter said...

Hi Everyone,
I see I've been barbequed. Okay, I can handle that, as long as you consider what I say.

"people are ill due to there own fault," No, but because the devil and sin are also in the world.

"and if their not healed, it's due to their own fault." Yes, healing is always available in Jesus, just as is salvation. But not everyone believes this, and don't recieve.

"what EXACTLY do I question." That God told you or anyone who came to Him for healing, NO.

"God's ways are really hard to understand." I don't agree; Paul preached the simplicity of Christ. The tree of life is Christ, this is simple to understand. If it's life it's Christ. If it's not life it's not Christ. So by the fruit you know the tree. Whether "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil". Or, "the tree of life".

For my last arguement I will say this; There is a song that high-lights my thought. "if the Lord says I am, then I am." 1 peter 2:24. "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed."

This is the word of God. And This is The Real End!

Blessing and Comfort be with your spirit in Christ.
Bryan

Carolyn said...

bryan, you have not been barbequed. i don't like cooked people. lol ;)

i've certainly taken all of your comments into consideration. i'm thinking on them, praying on them and asking the Lord to show me.

i believe that the healing power of God is available to us all, but in His time.

thanks so much for a fantastic discussion. i appreciate more than i can tell you how peaceful and respectful this discussion has been!

bless you all!

Carolyn said...

bryan ... actually, if i may say, i do not think i would stuff you in the same sphere as the individuals i am struggling with in the church.

you have been wayyy too humble, graceful, and respectful for that.

i'm sure gayla, in spite of your previous discussions would agree.

be blessed.

Carolyn said...

lorna, i'm so sorry, i thought i had answered your post.

i'm so sorry for your loss. it is this type of situation that breaks my heart in this sort of discussion and causes me to believe that there must be a middle ground.

hugs.

Gayla said...

Bryan, I don't like bar-b-qued people either! :)

I most definitely love my discussions with Bryan. As you said, Carolyn, he's very civil - as we all are, I think. And we're actually on the same page about many things - this one area is the biggie, though. Which is fine. It doesn't mean that either one of us isn't saved.