�I am not a fraction of the woman I would need to be to experience a fraction of God�s Glory.�
This is one of the thoughts which emerged after my sobbing had stopped and I slowly peeled my hands away from my face.
Something powerful happened to me at Mahesh Chavda� church a few weeks ago. Bill Johnson was his invited guest.
I had just walked in a 1000-person procession of people to receive a blessing touch from Bill Johnson. As I stepped within about 10 feet of him, the Glory of God fell on me like a heavy waterfall. I began to weep with some unknowable knowing�? God�s mission is so vast, so complete. His beauty is unbearable! I cannot bear the weight of this Glory. Bill touched my head and I fell apart. A splintering of reality�a depth of who I am in Christ that is impossible to sustain.
As I was falling down, I felt an urge to say something and I did, but haven�t a clue what I said as it was in tongues. This happens almost every time a sincere, Spirit-filled person lays hands on me: I feel an irrepressible urge to say something in the Spirit as I am crashing to the floor. Two men caught me and whisked me away from the line. I was grateful for their guiding me to a chair as I felt blinded. I was hiding my face. My hands were pressed tightly across my wet face�I don�t know why I had to cover my face. It happened like this during the moment I attribute to being �born again� as I was standing in front of the Eucharist at Christ the King Church. I had to hide because it seems utterly impossible to endure such beauty. It is unbearable to boldly look at God�s Glory�.
All I could say over and over again between sobs was: Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!
Bill began his presentations a few days earlier by reporting a little bit about the acceleration of healing miracles he�s seen around the world. He said he�s literally witnessed thousands of miracles, many of them quite extraordinary. His church in Redding, California prayed for a mentally retarded child for several months who was healed. He said his friend, Heidi Baker, has a 100% cure rate for the deaf. She goes into a village in Africa and asks them to bring her their deaf. Apparently, whole villages are brought to Christ. Bill reported that at a meeting of about 800 born-again, Spirit-filled pastors/leaders, he took a count of how many had consistently, regularly seen miracle healings on a weekly basis 10 years ago, 3 years ago, and one year ago. At 10 years ago, only a few raised their hands. One half-dozen or so reported this phenomena 3 years ago, but nearly everybody in the room, says Bill, reported this as of one year ago.
�I like to see miracles happen all the time�it�s fun for me,� says Bill, �but what I�ve really come to do is to help build an end-time army�.One of the saddest things I feel has happened to the Church is that so many believers don�t wake up every morning with the conviction that their prayers are going to change the course of human history. And they don�t go to bed every night with blood on their swords.�
I didn�t go to get physical healing down at this conference, as I�m perfectly healthy. I just absolutely love to be around people who love the Lord and are dedicated to a lifestyle of prayer and service, and Mahesh�s church is one such place. And I am keenly interested in �inner healing� and want to be around people who have faith that God can heal deep wounds as well as physical problems.
Something very powerful happens at those Spirit-filled meetings. Fire falls. Fire from heaven, and Bill says, �Fire falls on sacrifice.�
Sometimes, I actually *sleep in the Spirit* those nights following worship. They aren't just meetings with temporary highs, but movements. I feel like a little rock in a tumbler. The rough edges are being polished away with each turning, each soaking�with each surrender.
Beloved, I pray Ephesians 1:17-18 for you all�the Church at Shalom Place.
For I always pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the deep and intimate knowledge of Him, by having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints.
Wow, well told Shasha. I can relate to the emotional spiritual part of your personal testimony.
On the other hand, I've heard tell of such physical healings as described by Johnson, but I remain skeptical. Here are more such stories:
"Cancerous tumors would fall off bodies, broken limbs would stitch right back up, and new body parts appeared to replace missing ones..." writes an enthusiastic and highly unskeptical CBN reporter. But wait: What does he mean by "appeared to?" Either the missing body parts were replaced or they weren't. Is he implying, as I'm guessing is the case, that might have been a reality different than the appearances? Or maybe all he meant was that new parts appeared, replacing old ones.
Shasha, were there no physical healings at the meeting you attended?
There have been testimonies of healings in all the meetings I've been to at Mahesh's church. There are also those who do not get healed and those whose conditions improve only partially.
Ryan, I don't know why you would be skeptical. Healing miracles didn't stop with the first century Church. They happen every day. Haven't you ever heard of miracle ministries of people like John G. Lake, for instance? He started the Healing Rooms in Spokane, Washington. They recorded 100,000 healings over five years.
Even our very own Phil St. Romain
was led by the Holy Spirit to lay hands on a young woman with cancer. He felt the Power of God move through him during his prayer, and her cancer disappeared.
In his book, When Heaven Invades Earth, Bill argues that it is every Christian's calling to walk in the supernatural. "Being possessed by a promise I live without options. I will spend the rest of my life exploring what could happen through the life of one who is willing to cultivate the God-given appetite to see impossibilities bow to the name of Jesus." p. 24
"For us to become all that God intended, we must remember that Jesus' life was a model of what mankind could become if it were in right relationship with the Father....Jesus came as the light of the world. He then passed the baton to us announcing that we are the light of the world. Jesus came as a miracle worker. He said that we would do "greater works" than He did." p. 138.
peace to you, Ryan.
Shash, thank you for sharing your experience. I attended charismatic prayer meetings years ago where similar phenomena as you report were observed. I have indeed participated in healing ministry, at times, though I do not think the gift of healing is a charism I am regularly gifted with. I have met such healers, however, and have come to know of many documented healings. Then there are healing places, like Lourdes and Fatima, where hundreds of miraculous healings have been examined and verified. I think such verification and documentation are important.
I'm not much familiar with Bill Johnson's ministry. Can you point us to a web site or some other resource that tells more about him? Some of what you describe sounds similar to the "Toronto blessing," which began well but eventually became sensationalistic and bizarre. It sounds like you experienced "slaying in the Spirit," which was a common feature of "Toronto blessing," but is also found is other charismatic settings. I've known individuals who found this to be deeply transformative.
This is Bill's Bethel Church.
Check out the latest sermon, free download. Bill reports that it actually rained INSIDE the room for 2 1/2 hours during a recent meeting.
Phil, is this a fair portrayal of the "Toronto blessing"?
I agree with the need for objective verification and documentation for objective claims.
This description is consistent with what I've heard.
Do you agree, Phil?
These kinds of outpourings, I'm just now learning, have been increasing in number and intensity all over the planet. The amazing Azuza Street revival seemed to blow open the doors of heaven 100 years ago. And there have been 3 or 4 other major ones, each time participants are touched, transformed by Holy fire and take the anointing they receive to new places, deeply and supernaturally compelled to spread revival...
If you look at the historical context of the acceleration of this Holy Spirit movement, some argue that it speaks to the formation of an 'end-time army' and an ushering in of God's Kingdom.
many blessings to you, HP.
See Azusa Street Revival, thought to be the birth of Pentecostalism:
Shasha, Thanks for the link, I just now listened to the sermon.
Interesting, he said, during time of shared prayer, "objectivity" goes out the window. "no room of ovservers:" I think were his words. It seems to be a different way of knowing. I don't know what to make of it. They sure are rich, that is, throwing around a lot of money, but there is also an "as if not" quality.
Adding my "yes" to Shasha's endorsement of the wiki article on Toronto blessing, HP, and Ryan's emphasis on objectivity and verification. I've participated at times in some wild pentecostal meetings and am sure Kundalini phenemena are at work, there, generally under the guidance of the Spirit. But maybe sometimes not, which might have been the case in Toronto. I honestly don't know.
I've looked over Johnson's web site and it seems he's in the Assembly of God tradition, which is pentecostal spirituality. They're well-grounded in Scripture, but also very fundamentalist, which is a problem, imo. Ongoing discernment is also important. E.g., Shasha notes that "Bill reports that it actually rained INSIDE the room for 2 1/2 hours during a recent meeting." For what purpose, one might ask? How many of these extraordinary phenomena are prompted by the Spirit, and how many originate from some other level -- human/psychic/metaphysical, for example?
I like that question Phil "How many of these extraordinary phenomena are prompted by the Spirit, and how many originate from some other level -- human/psychic/metaphysical"
I struggle when something I am unsure about spiritually speaking turns out to be confirmed by signs and wonders. It makes me not want to question it, and yet perhaps all "miracles" are not necessarily directly from God. But still, one needs to be careful about attributing the work of the Spirit to something else, Jesus himself warned of this when they accused him of working miracles by the spirit of beelzabub.
Shasha notes that "Bill reports that it actually rained INSIDE the room for 2 1/2 hours during a recent meeting." For what purpose, one might ask? How many of these extraordinary phenomena are prompted by the Spirit, and how many originate from some other level -- human/psychic/metaphysical, for example?
Bill addresses this in that sermon. He says he simply doesn't know why certain signs occur in his meetings. For years, feathers were dropping down in different meeting rooms, and then clumps of dust too. He said he thought the latter was in response to certain people's skepticism, those who wanted to spoil the love, or something like that.
About this raining matter, in particular, he says in that sermon that the rain began just as his son, a worship leader, began to sing "Rain Down." Also, he notes that a friend of his, who is a prophet according to Bill, said nine years ago that "it will rain inside the room during one of your meetings." A prophesy that took nine years to become manifest, apparently, says Bill. Because he thinks this prophet is speaking God's word, he would definitely attribute this sign as one from Holy Spirit.
But he adds that at one point during the rain down, a stream of water, like water coming out of a faucet, was visible for a few minutes and then stopped. He is puzzled by this and says, "Why just a stream in that one place? I don't know."
Admitting that he doesn't know why certain phenomena occur seems like evidence of discernment, not the lack thereof. What does being fundamental have to do with this, Phil?
Hey, gold dust has been appearing upon Mahesh for 10 years. Perfectly cut diamonds have dropped from nowhere in Bobby Conner's and David Herzog's meetings. I'll be looking down at the carpet carefully next time I see Bobby.
Anyway, the main point they all make is not about focussing on the miracles, but turning our heart to the Giver and serving His mission to build His Body. I saw a lot of signs and wonders in the ashram, so I'm not impressed really. I'm just pierced through with love around these people...
About the Toronto blessing and kundalini. I have been stumped by this too. It is unsettling that if the Holy Spirit is in control, as one would ideally want to believe, why would some of the bizarre behaviors occur, so bizarre that Vineyard would 'disown' them? I wish somebody would do an empirical study on this topic and present me with the results, please
about "objectivity going out the window," it could mean different things...I don't really know. He could mean that some things are not easily validated by a consensus. I don't think many people would embrace third chakra light phenomena.
What do you mean by "as if not" quality?
Thanks for engaging me in this way, dear ones!
I attended a church in Scotland which had pretty strong connections with Toronto. A group of leaders crossed the Atlantic and brought back all the Toronto manifestations, some of them really wild (which I don't have a problem with per se) but I did go for healing once and had a kind of slain in the Spirit experience when one of the team laid hands on me. I felt a strong energy infused with a kind of peace but no sooner had I fallen flat on the floor when a serious discomfort came over me. I went home that night and began to shake terribly - a whole lotta shakin goin on. I also began to discern that the energy held a strong imprint of the person who had administered the "healing" . Over the next few weeks I had pseudo-telepathic contact with this healer (I don't believe it was something he was aware of). I also experienced choirs of people singing in tongues ringing in my head. I suffered terrible psychic attacks from occult/new age sources as well as a real psychic shaking deep within me. I continued to feel the Kundalini imprint of the "healer" and was in psychic turmoil for about a month or so afterwards.
The only conclusion I could draw from all this was similar to Phil's assessment above. I had been "zapped" by the Kundalini of the healer and was involved in something at a human/psychic/metaphysical level. The presence of the Holy Spirit was most definitely absent in the experience although other people and other phenomenon in different circumstances might find deep Holy Spirit involvment in all of this.
Needless to say I survived and am thriving on a diet of true praise, worship and prayer but staying well clear of the zappatistas.
Welcome back, Stephen. Good to have you join in. I really appreciate your input. Wow, remarkable testimony. I'm curious, how do you think the psychic attacks from occult/new age sources related to the one healer who laid hands on you?
I really don't know anyone else who reports this same kind of sensitivity that I also experience.
Like you, I feel other people's stuff get inside me in all kinds of circumstances, people praying with me or for me, sitting next to people on planes, etc.
The most terrible experience was, and this will be hard to believe I know, upon reading a guru's book. What horror and delusion I lived through for several months as I felt merged with his consciousness and his goddess.
We have to live in this world while in these porous bodies, Stephen. We must strengthen ourselves as warriors, that's my take.
As a therapist and teacher, I find that being sensitive can be used to bring about healing and learning. At times, I directly bear other people's pain, but I feel that Christ bears it with me and it is done for their sake.
I keep praying to be a vessel of God's love and healing, not merely a sponge. Active, not just passive....Come on! God...transform us!! I want to be leaking out Christ's love stronger than anything any nonsense energy can do to harm me. Of course, I needed to learn some things first about living with this sensitivity with care. However, aren't we supposed to be able to pick up serpents, drink poison, etc. and nothing, nothing will harm us!
I can talk like this now because I'm on fire...
Christ's peace upon you, Stephen.
About the "as if not"... it strikes me that the pastor talked about worldly money in specific terms, 43,000 dollars rent. But it was "as if" he was "not" in the world of ordinary financial consideration. He could make the plan and trust that the money would follow.
I've been reflecting on the indoor rain story all day. Objectively speaking, I have a hunch that when they sent workers to check the roof and check for leaky pipes, they were on the right track for finding the immediate cause of the mist and rain, they just did not go far enough to find the actual immediate cause, whatever it may have been. It might even have been a hidden mist and rain making machine. Are there such machines available these days for high-tech stage shows? Could there be a little showmanship going on behind the scenes? Or does that question show the kind of objectivity that is supposed to go out the window?
Check this out:
To make a stage show rain maker, you need a mass of warm moist air to hit a mass of cold air. We already have machines to make warm moist air: hot air humidifiers. And they produce indoor clouds. We also have machines to make cold air: air conditioners. What happens when you shoot a hot air humidifier into the path of an air conditioner: some serious indoor condensation. I'm no science geek, but I think if we can send a rocket to the moon, with some financial investment, an indoor rain making devise is doable.
I went to a new age healer in my mid-twenties just after a Kundalini awakening. I got quite closely involved with him and his work but soon found out something awful about his past. I began to experience some really intense psychic attacks directed at me from this guy and it all jumbled up with my own K and really pushed me to the edge. I went through about 6 months of absolute torture and really don't know how I survived. Well, yes I do. I returned to Christ and gave it all to Him and somehow He kept me going. Anyway, for a while, anytime I experienced any energy shifts from within or without - sexual/psychic/spiritual - it seemed to aggravate my connection to this new age healer. And that's pretty much what happened when the Toronto guy laid hands on me. I'm not entirely sure about the metaphysical mechanics involved but I have felt the new age healer fasten energy hoops into my own energy field from which he is able to launch attacks.
It's not all bad, however. Since taking up contemplative prayer and meditation practise in and on Christ, I have increasingly gained victory after vctory over this guy and a load of other nasty psychic connections which followed on from him. I feel God's power has been activated in my life through contemplation, my mind sharpened and honed to discern what's going on and how to deal with it through a certain level of acceptance and detachment.
As for the reasons, karmic or otherwise, I don't know. I do have a sense of bearing other people's burdens as you yourself do, all in and through Christ. And in that sensitivity to others I occasionally discern a healing energy directed towards friends and others which is pretty soft and gentle, not at all like the intense upheavals you experienced with Bill. It's as if I'm aware of normally unconscious enegies connecting us all and the K working as a catalyst for slow transformation and healing amongst groups of people rather than that full on stuff some Christian healers manifest.
I'm totally with you as far as "leaking out Christ's love" to overcome all the "nonsense energy" around us, but feel that somehow the K is involved in this in that it acts as a energy of connectivity and holistic wholeness within communities. I often get a sense, albeit pretty faintly, that Christ's power and the Holy Spirit are channelled through K and that, where it doesn't happen at an intense pentecostal level, it happens subtly, often unconsciously in churches. This of course helps to lessen a certain level of ego involvement/ showmanship which sometimes happens at these big charismatic meetings, and helps involve people who are otherwise timid about this type of thing.
Your end time army thing appeals to my sense of purpose about it all. I can't accept that the intense suffering and inner tranformations I've gone through since that first K awakening are meaningless. So long as my ego and feelings of self importance don't pick up on this I'm happy to trust that God know what's really going on and why.
On the whole I need to keep back from healers and full on charismatic renewal meetings (although I do love the praise and worship) so that my own K and my own healing in my own family and community are left to work out themselves.
I just don't think a hidden rain machine is what was going on....
It doesn't seem consistent with what I know of the character of Bill Johnson and his church to pull such a stunt. They don't seem to have any need to *prove* that miracles occur or the motive to impress anybody like this. I certainly don't *idealize* Bill or Mahesh (Mahesh actually hunts as a sport! YUK!!), but their motives seem very pure to me.
But, who knows? Maybe some poor soul set the whole thing up...it's just not my gut feeling.
Thank you for that thoughtful response. Have you ever written out in full your story of 'recovery' from that thing? I think you have something valuable to offer folks who take these matters rather lightly. My story would implicate certain "well-respected" kundalini experts, so it doesn't feel right at this moment, but some day God may point the way for me to share my testimony....
Hearing of your story and being reminded of mine just brought about a kind of heaviness in me for the people who are searching for God but become miserably bound to supernatural forces, especially those who play with kundalini. And these forces present themselves as healing or as God!!
Lord help us. Thank you, Father, that you know the thoughts and plans that you have for us, for our good.
Today I listened to the sermon again and noticed part of it that I had not remembered. Bill Johnson's initial reaction to the indoor rain: When his friend pointed it out to him, he said, "Oh, no. They've got a steam machine or something..." Ok, that that joins me where I'm at.
I listened to the sermon over and over, trying to understand as closely as possible Bill Johnson's message. Then I asked myself why I'm so interested. There are many levels of my interest. But here is one that has me kind of amused and amazed. A synchronicity that sort of links my thought world to that of Bill Johnson.
The indoor rain incident happened Sunday morning, July 29, 2007. The next morning, Monday, the 30th, without having heard of such a thing as indoor rain, I was kind of obsessed with understanding the song that goes,
"I wana know,
have you ever seen the rain
I wana know
have you ever seen the rain
comin' down on a sunny day."
I told my wife about my thoughts and to my surprise, she not only knew who sang it, but had the CD. It was a recent gift from a woman she works with who was just giving away a lot of old CDs. I took CD with us on a trip that day, and that is the only song on the CD we listened to. At my request listened to it three times, trying to figure out what they they were saying: "...Have you ever seen the rain comin' down on a sunny day?" The more I listened the more I had deep emotions and felt teary. For me, one level of meaning was that rain on a sunny day meant tears during a time of joy.
. . . acknowledging Stephen's generous sharing
I do believe kundalini is awakened in many who become intensely involved in charismatic pheneomena, and that it can predominate in importance if an explicit focus on Christ/Holy Spirit is lost. The shift might be very subtle - - to the "signs and wonders" that often do show up in pentecostal gatherings. It seems these phenomena were present in the early Church, mostly as a sign for materialistic, worldly types. And it also seems that 1 Cor. 12-14 was written to address issues that arose from focusing more on the charismata than Christ and love. In such cases, the high energy gatherings could indeed sustain K activity and a wide variety of metaphysical phenomena.
There's a rare phenomenon called apportation whereby some gurus and mystics are able to materialize objects, sometimes at will. This has been well documented in the case of Sai Baba, for example, and several others. Something similar might be going on in Johnson's meetings, although under the guidance of the Spirit. I honestly don't know. The question of objectivity raised by Ryan would be most relevant, here, as apported objects really do exist and seem to have been moved from another place. Group visions are another matter, however.
I used to enjoy an occasional Catholic charismatic meeting, but have come to prefer the "still, small voice of the Spirit." Also, charismatic gifts are alive and well outside of pentecostal circles and are given to all Christians at times when the Spirit needs us to do a particular ministry.
Some of Sai Baba's apportations have been exposed as slight of hand tricks. My assumption is that they all are trickery, but some are harder to detect. Yogananda has stories of such physical manifestations in his autobiography, and I would really like to think they are true stories. Like the one where he eats a manifested peach and it tastes good or the one where he huggs the feet of his manifested guru and he feels the grit on the surface of the shoe and the toes under the surface. The accounts sound so sincere, it is sweet.
I have thought about writing about my experiences at some point. It doesn't feel quite right to do so at the moment because most of my energies are spent in creative writing and I'm trying to get some fiction and poetry off the ground (doing okay with that so far with publication in various literary journals), and , also, I don't really think the story's quite over yet.
I've had ideas about writing my story in book form and, well, we'll see what comes of that, although I too am a bit afraid of stirring things up with those involved (new age healer guy especially). I might like to write a small article in the meantime if I could get any Christian magazines or websites interested. Don't really know how to go about drumming up interest however.
I do know that song, and it has always felt mournful to me...I will resist the temptation to ask you, "What comes to mind about tears during a time of joy?"
What a strange coincidence that you would have that come to you the day after the Johnson meeting...but I think you're totally off track with the steam machine/rain maker idea. The raining during that meeting wasn't even the point of Johnson's sermon. Nor is it the point of this thread for that matter.
It has little to do with miracles. I think of myself as quite a young Christian and a student. I am fascinated to see what Christ-followers look like who are not afraid to fully step into what they feel is their calling.
While they aren't for everyone at all times, meetings with other Spirit-filled worshippers teach me something...I don't fully know what yet, but something is getting in.
For one thing, I find there is something very beautiful, even tangibly so, about the character of leaders who have given their entire lives to following Christ Jesus, especially His famous commission.
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