April 20, 2016
On Monday’s blog we talked about signs, wonders and miracles. Today we will discuss raising the dead, gold dust and feathers. I am not writing an exhaustive theological dissertation on each point to try and convince our detractors that we are right. I am simply trying to make it clear, in simple terms, what we believe and why.
Raising the Dead
Another subject that has drawn a lot of attention recently is dead raising. I need to be honest; I have personally never raised anyone from the dead although I have tried twice. But here again Jesus said, “And as you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons….,” (Matthew 10:7-8).
Contextually, Jesus is only speaking to twelve disciples, but the truth is that a large portion of what Jesus taught was only given to twelve guys. And almost all of Paul’s epistles were written to specific groups of people, yet we still understand that most of what he penned applies to us today. Furthermore, Jesus commanded His guys to make disciples of all nations by “teaching them to observe all I commanded you…”(Matthew 28:19-20).
Some of the students from the Supernatural School of Ministry read this verse and decided to go down to the morgue and “practice” raising the dead! Crazy? Maybe, but I admire their faith and their guts. It wasn’t Bill or me who gave them the idea, they were actually inspired by reading the Bible. Evidently, they thought they should believe what Jesus said. They definitely have more faith and courage than I do.
So far they haven’t raised anyone at the mortuary from the dead, but it hasn’t deterred them a bit. I have heard of some students from another school that started a DRT team. You guessed it, the letters stand for Dead Raising Team! I really don’t know if they have had any success yet. I do know of several Christians who have raised the dead. Radical? Yeah! But hopefully if you’re born again, you believe that you will be raised from the dead someday so you can go to heaven.
I don’t think we have taken more ridicule for anything than gold dust and feathers. It all began one day while someone was preaching, and these tiny white feathers started falling from the ceiling in the sanctuary. It wasn’t raining feathers or anything like that (people tell tales), but they were very obviously there and easily seen. At first no one said anything. We all thought there were birds in the AC ducts or something.
Then other leaders began to report the same phenomena happening in their churches. Our maintenance staff investigated the bird theory. No birds, feathers, or nests were discovered anywhere in the ductwork or the ceiling. It also started to happen in people’s homes. It always happens when we are talking about the things of God. The phenomena tends to come and go. No one at Bethel has ever preached on feathers (that I know of), but at times it is nearly impossible not to mention them when we are teaching because several of them are falling right in front of the pulpit all at once. I have witnessed this myself a couple hundred times in several different buildings.
I have had several skeptics ask me “if I believe in feathers.” LOL! I want to say “no!” because I understand that I sound like a kook, but I have seen them with my own eyes.
Then there is the infamous gold dust; again the phenomenon comes and goes. The first time I ever witnessed this myself was at a MorningStar conference more than fifteen years ago. The speaker released the “glory of God” in the room, and suddenly gold dust appeared on everyone’s face and hands. You didn’t have to try hard to see it; tiny flakes of something resembling gold glitter were everywhere. (There were several hundred people in the room that night, so it’s possible that some people didn’t have gold dust on them as I didn’t examine every individual.)
Since that time, I have personally witnessed this hundreds of times. For some reason, the dust usually only appears on people’s hands and faces. Sometimes it will just appear on a few people, and other times it will show up on hundreds of people all at once.
Why does God do these things, you ask? I really don’t know. I have often been among different groups of leaders who speculate about the purpose of these signs. I have heard many ideas that sound good and make me feel better about the things I have experienced. But the truth is, I really don’t know why these things happen. Therefore, I do think feathers and gold dust qualify as “wonders.”
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Have you experienced any of these things? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Topics: All TopicsInspiration