Shandell posed a question the other day, and I thought this would be a good place to do a piece on this subject.

Her question was, "could this be one of those signs and wonders we are warned not to be fooled into believing that are from God, or could it be real miracles from the Lord?"

This is a question I've heard others raise -- not only with respect to what's happening in Lakeland, Florida, but with other ministries and purported moves of the Holy Spirit.

Let's first deal with some rules of thumb from Scripture that will help you understand how to discern between lying signs and wonders and those signs that follow the believer according to the promise and command that Jesus made.

Ooooops!!!  Almost forgot.  Good Morning!  Coffee poured yet?  Well, whaddaya waitin' for?

First, let's look at the context in which the apostle Paul describes these lying wonders.  In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes, "Then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.  Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perishbecause they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."  (II Thessalonians 2:8-12)

The context in which Paul writes makes very clear just exactly what kind of signs and lying wonders people will be drawn after.

A person who has a love of the Truth (and Jesus specifically says [see John 14:6] , "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life; no man cometh to the Father but by me.")has a love of Jesus Christ.  They have a love of righteousness.

No one who has a love of righteousness or a love of Truth is going to be deceived by any sign or wonder.  The corollary to this is that no one who loves righteousness and truth is going to perform any sign or wonder contrary to righteousness and truth.

So what does this mean?

Satan does not heal people: Jesus does.  Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."  (John 10:10)  Satan is not going to do something that will bring glory to Jesus Christ.

Satan does not cast out demons: Jesus does.  In fact, when the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons using the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons, Jesus answered them and said, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falleth.  If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?  because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.  And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.  But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the Kingdom of God is come upon you."  (Luke 11:17-20)

Satan does not restore the sight of the blind, he does not cause the lame to walk again, he does not heal of cancer, he does not cause the deaf to hear, and he does not fill people with the Holy Spirit.

Let me take a minute to clarify something here.  A number of years ago I was in a meeting with Derek Prince when he shared a recent case of deliverance.  A mother had taken her young daughter to a psychic for healing of some serious physical problems.  My recollection is that the girl had skin diseases, lesions and what appeared as nodules or warts or growths extruding from her skin in various places.

The psychic "healer" (in fact, a fortune teller who was working at a church bazaar!) went through her rituals and incantations and the problems seemed to disappear.  There was, however, no glory given to the Lord Jesus Christ, and absolutely no recognition that He was the source of healing and health.

One thing should be noted.  The psychic healer gave the girl an amulet to wear and instructed her never to take it off.  The trouble was that the girl suddenly lost her ability to reason mathematically.  She had been brilliant in school, and now began to fail her math classes, along with a couple of other non-related subjects.  As the weeks wore into months, the girl began to live almost in a constant daze, shutting out the rest of the outside world in an almost autistic state.

When the mother heard through her church that Derek Prince was in the area and ministering deliverance from evil spirits, she brought her daughter for healing.  Derek asked her a few quick questions, and was astonished to hear her say that she took her daughter to a psychic healer.

His immediate question to her was, "Why?  Why would you take your daughter to Satan?  You are a professing Christian, and yet you go to Satan?  He is NOT 'the Way, the Truth and the Life.'  Satan is the thief who comes to steal, to kill and to destroy!"

As he was talking to the mother, his eyes suddenly fell on the amulet around the girl's neck.  With a Word of Knowledge from the Holy Spirit concerning that amulet, Derek Prince reached over and grabbed it, snapping the chain.  The amulet broke open on the floor and a tiny strip of paper fell out.

He reached down and picked up the strip of paper and unrolled it; then read the words written on it to both mother and daughter.  The words on that paper read, "Satan, keep this girl's body well, until her soul rests in Hell."

Derek rebuked the spirits of enchantment and witchcraft, and the girl was immediately set free.  Her countenance cleared, she returned to awareness of everything and everyone around her, and -- as her mother later testified -- her brilliance in school returned.  She was completely healed and set free.

Now, consider the events taking place in these meetings with Todd Bentley.  You will never hear him -- or anyone with him -- give glory to anyone but Jesus Christ for the miracles that are happening.  In the seventy-five-plus days that have transpired since this miraculous outpouring began, literally thousands of people have come to know Jesus Christ personally.

Think Satan is interested in getting people saved?  Nope.  His only interest is in getting folks to reject Jesus Christ and keep them under his thumb.  Every person who accepts Jesus Christ is a lost cause to Satan's kingdom.  Every person who glorifies Jesus Christ as the author and source of his or her healing or deliverance has just slapped Satan upside the head.

Lying wonders?  Lying signs?  Those are the signs and events and wonders that glorify the flesh.  They glorify man's wisdom and learning.  They glorify man's intellect.  Sometimes, they delve into what we commonly refer to as "the psychic realm."  The psychic realm is a realm which relies entirely on soul-power -- NOT the Spirit of God!  In fact, the word, "psychic" comes from the Greek "psuche" for "soul, mind, intellect, thinking."

You'll NEVER see a lying sign, a lying wonder, or a lying miracle which brings glory and praise and worship to the Lord Jesus Christ and to God the Father.  That's the best way I can describe it.

Now, go back and listen to GOD TV again.  Watch the events that are taking place nightly in Lakeland, Florida.  Listen to what the people are saying when they receive their healing, their deliverance, their miracle, their being raised from the dead.  Are they saying, "I did it"?  Are they saying, "Todd did this by himself or through his own power"?

Or, rather, are they saying, "The Lord has healed me"?  Are they saying, "Praise God"?  Are they saying, "Jesus has set me free"?


Todd is a strange person, all right -- in fact, you'll see few who are stranger (!) -- but God doesn't pick people because they are smooth, polished, and good looking.  He picks folks who are willing to be laughed at, willing to be made a fool for Christ's sake, willing to simply obey His command no matter what other folks think.

Let me wrap up what has turned into a much longer answer than I originally intended by quoting from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians: "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty, And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence."  (I Corinthians 1:27-29)

Folks who are bound by religious spirits really have a problem with this.  It simply isn't orderly.  It isn't refined.  It isn't mannerly and polished.  In fact, by every description one could conjure, the Lakeland Outpouring is both base and foolish.  Some of Todd's mannerisms, and the mannerisms of his associates are easily despised as "uncouth," and maybe even "bizarre," or -- according to some folks' understanding, "unscriptural."

Consider the original words in Paul's statements from the Greek text for "foolish" and "base."  The word translated as "foolish" is the word moros.  This is the same word from which we get the English word, "moron," or its companion adjective "moronic."  The Greek term, moros, literally translates to: dull, stupid, heedless, blockhead, fool.

Then there's that word translated "base" from the Greek agenes (pronounced, ag - en - ace).  Yeowch!  What a word!  The literal translation of this word is" bastard.  It describes someone without traceable parentage or ancestry -- someone, in other words, who is ignoble, looked down upon, lacking in the discipline or upbringing of a father.

And THAT, my friends, is the kind of thing God uses with which to show His Glory.

In our next Coffee Break, let me answer another question concerning the alleged "hysteria" and strange manifestations that some folks perceive with this outpouring.

Healing is the gift of God.  It is part of the Blessing of Abraham restored by the Lord Jesus Christ to and for all who believe.  Do not for a minute think that sickness or infirmity is a blessing from the Lord.  It is a curse from Satan.  Jesus came to redeem us from that curse!

The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no painful toil and sorrow!  (Proverbs 10:22)  Be blessed!







Regner A. Capener

Sunnyside, Washington 98944

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