The Gospel as Signs and Wonders

A lecture for Fresh Streams Theology School, June 2018

Introduction:

The question that sparked the need for this lecture is: ‘Should the Gospel be communicated through miracles such as healing and provision, just as much as good deeds and words?’

Without running the risk of speaking at the world’s shortest talk the answer is yes! The gospel is meant to be presented with great power, the first friends of Jesus were commanded to go and herald the good news and signs and wonders accompanied such proclamation as promised by Jesus. To argue against this theologically there really are only two cessationist arguments to go to: 1) All miraculous works ended in the AD90’s with the death of the last remaining Apostle, John. Or 2) Signs and wonders were withdrawn in AD 367 when the New Testament was canonised.

Notwithstanding these cessationist view, signs and wonders still can be a bit if a mystery or perhaps perceived as a bit of a fad. Indeed, Carrin argues that ‘there is probably no greater ignorance in the Church today than that of spiritual gifts. To the Romans Paul said, “I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established.” (Romans 1.11) Without the presence and power of spiritual gifts the Church cannot be properly established… In rejecting spiritual gifts, part of the modern Church rejects God’s provision for her own success.” (Carrin, 2017, p.143)

I doubt that many of us who would qualm the provision of God through the gifts of the Spirit. However, I do believe that for many of us we grapple with both a passionate and theoretical belief in the gifts of the Spirit. Through careful theological reflection we may have concluded that ‘power evangelism’ (the fruit from the Third wave of the Spirit) simply doesn’t work in our context.

In my experience this paradoxical thinking that on one hand the gifts are very much alive and well but on the other hand they’re somehow broken, has been born out of three kinds of experiences:

1: We’ve been willing to believe in miracles but when we’ve tried performing one and nothing happened. Reflecting upon our experience theologically we have naturally concluded that miracles aren’t ‘our thing’ and while they may be someone else’s thing and something that does happen, we haven’t been blessed with seeing them in our context.

2: We’ve observed others praying for miracles and their claims of healing and we are sceptical. Subtle cynicism sets in, which soon becomes an impressive well armoured enemy of faith. Cynicisms voice has an amazing ability to creep into our mind-sets and make us believe in a God who is very much alive and well but somehow neutered of any power. This pattern of thinking becomes a stronghold.

3: This is perhaps the most common reason and one that must be dealt with most sensitively: We’ve asked for miracles for those we love and there has been no iota of a difference. People have died. Children remained sick and the pain is too great. Disappointment causes pain and we simply dare not ask again. It hurts too much when it doesn’t work.

If you relate to any of the three examples please be willing to be brave with me and dare to believe once more in the One who does the impossible and who is with us right now and see’s our cries, knows the core of our being and gently collects our tears and stands with us.

Take a moment to allow the Spirit to fall upon you and say hello.

He loves to fall on the friends of Jesus. The Greek for fall is Epipito, like in Acts 10.44 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.”

Epipito means to be ‘Embraced with affection.

—————–

The Spirit’s role in demonstrating the gospel is one way of many hundreds, depending on the context and culture. Broadly these hundreds of approaches can be found within a threefold pattern: Words, works and wonders.

In this session I will explore some questions in relation to the ‘wonders’ aspect within the demonstration of the gospel. However it’s important to note Wimber’s cautionary counsel that remains a prophetic warning for the Church today:

“The explanation of the Kingdom of God comes with a demonstration of God’s power. It is a spontaneous, Spirit-inspired, presentation of the gospel. It is usually preceded and undergirded by demonstrations of God’s presence, and frequently results in groups of people being saved. Still signs and wonders do not save; only Jesus saves. The power for salvation in power evangelism is through the gospel alone.” (Wimber, 1990, pp. 176-177)

With signs and wonders rightly put into perspective I will seek to answer these 3 questions:

1: What is the purpose of signs and wonders?

2: What kinds of things can we observe God doing through His church with signs and wonders?

3: How can we engage with our post-Christendom culture with Signs and Wonders?

Lastly, we shall do a practical demonstration of words of knowledge, prophecy and healing and implement what we have learnt.

1) What is the purpose of signs and wonders?

Let me start by telling you a story:

Bill was drinking Rosé wine in the Wetherspoon’s pub. Alone. Perched on one of those high bar-stools with elbows rested on the high table. Chin in hand. It wasn’t the fact that it was just after ten in the morning that made it unusual, it was that most blokes in the pub at that time of the day drink real ale. He looked somewhat strange and out of place with his large glass of pink wine sparkling proudly in the middle of the table.

I went around the tables as usual, placing our prayer beer mats on them, a job I did most Fridays, and when I eventually got to Bill’s table, I asked him what he was up to. He explained how he was waiting to get a bus and see his son and grandchild for the weekend. He looked nervous and it turned out he hadn’t seen them for a little bit. As he lifted the glass to his lips I noticed that his hand had a black brace on it, the kind with velcro straps and metal bits. I asked him about it and he told me how, six months previously, he had dropped a heavy garden ornament on his fingers and they had been crushed. He said he was in a great deal of pain with them.

I found myself explaining to him that I prayed for people to be healed in the name of Jesus and asked whether he wanted me to pray for his hand. He agreed and held his hand up towards me. I was somewhat surprised by his eagerness and asked if he wanted me to pray there and then. He said that he was happy for me to.

While I was praying he said that a warm sensation had gone through his hand and with that he started moving his fingers. He explained that he hadn’t been able to bring his thumb up to touch his fingers before being prayed for, and now he had all the flexibility back!

He kept moving and wriggling his fingers and appeared to be in some kind of shock. I explained to him that it was a sign that God knew him and loved him.

A few minutes later I introduced him to Dave, who is one of my amazing chaplaincy team who hang out with me most Fridays in the pub to show and tell good news. The man explained to Dave what had happened and that he was now able to move his hand, and was freely showing him his new hand movements!

I offered him a book, a copy of Luke’s gospel which he was happy to receive and enthused about how he would read it.

We shared the story with one of the regulars that we see week-in, week-out. This in turn led us to pray for his leg and to lay hands on him. In the pub. He explained that he felt a great warmth as I prayed and even though his leg wasn’t healed he was very happy to be prayed for.

Later on in the day, as Dave and I tucked into some curry for lunch, we prayed for some words from God’s heart for the man whose leg we had prayed for. I had a picture of him on a green bicycle and having so much fun. I shared this with him and he spoke about how much he used to love his little green bike as a boy and he remembered it so well. This picture led to us sharing some prophetic words with him, and even though he had drunk a few pints by this time he seemed to soak it all in. And love it.

Two weeks later, Bill came back to say thank you with his new and improved hand. He had travelled some distance to come back so that he could express his thanks to us. He also wanted to know more about Jesus. He explained that the hospital had dismissed him from their care and were “perplexed.” His wife thought it wonderful and was amazed at how her husband’s hand had been made 100% completely better – and was very happy that he could now help around the house!

First and foremost the purpose of signs and wonders is to demonstrate the Kingdom of God. They show us what God is like and they reveal the intention of why Jesus came to the world: to destroy the works of the evil one.

However, before we pursue any ideas about our role within signs and wonders it is imperative to note that you and I can’t be demonstrators of the Kingdom without being children of the one who Reigns in this Kingdom.

Horton contends: “The message of the whole of scripture is that this miraculous super nature of God should manifest in His children. Like Father like son (and daughter). And God has made full provision for the manifestation of that super-nature in His children in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.” (Horton, 1976, p. 13)

Our identity and ability are intertwined. In other words our position as children of God affects our output.

Therefore we urgently need to be people who are first and foremost children of God. Full stop. If we can grow in this belief the demonstration of the signs and wonders will flow from our supernatural identity as children of a supernatural God. He does so we do.

Establishing identity over doing is paramount for followers of Jesus.

Secondly to comprehend what purpose the gifts have we need to understand what the gifts are. Particular gifts are available to us as they are given for a reason. They’re not just ‘toy things’ rather purposeful gifts that accomplish specific outcomes.

The New Testament contains six passages in which gifts of the Spirit are identified. “All are still active; none has been withdrawn. These gifts are miraculous provisions for the Church’s ministry. (Carrin, 2017, p.143)

1. Romans 12. 6-8

2. 1 Corinthians 7.7

3. 1 Corinthians 12. 8-12

4. 1 Corinthians 12.28

5. Ephesians 4.11-12

6. 1 Peter 4. 9-11

These gifts can be characterised in lots of different ways, however Carrin loosely identifies two groupings: manifestation gifts and ministerial gifts.

1 Corinthians 12 is an example of the manifestation gifts. There are 9 ‘signs and wonders’ kind of gifts which can be characterised into 3 groupings:

Gifts of revelation:

1- Word of wisdom. Supernatural revelation for insight into a need for understanding.

2- Word of knowledge. Revelation of facts that can only be supernaturally known by God.

3- Discerning of Spirits. Supernatural insight into the realm of spirits: demons, angels and whether something is from God or not.

Gifts of power:

1-Faith. Supernatural trust in God for the miraculous. An absolute assurance and expectation of God.

2- Working of miracles. Intervention in the ordinary course of nature including death, weather and water into wine!

3. Healing. The miraculous normalising of disease or injury.

Gifts of inspiration:

1- Prophecy. Direction from God that brings comfort, strength and encouragement.

2- Tongues. Heavenly praise, prayer or prophetic utterance in an unknown tongue.

3- Interpretation. Supernatural understanding of the meaning of tongues.

These 3 groups “overflow and interlock.” (Horton, 1976, p.39)

The same gifts made available for the first friends of Jesus are the same gifts we have generously been given. Acts 5.12 reveals that “…the apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade.”

The result of which is that more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. People even brought people out onto the streets so Peter’s shadow could fall on them and make them well.

Therefore the primary outcome and purpose of signs and wonders is to change the world for Jesus. This is, I believe, why I have experienced more miracles in pubs or on the streets than in church buildings. When I am in the right context that match the purpose of the gifts, the result is breath-taking.

This world changing effect of the Spirit is something that is very much on the heart of God. Theologians call this concern the Missio Dei. The redemption of the entire universe is the work of the One who declares: “Look, I make all things new!” (Revelation 21. 5; Isaiah 65.17; Isaiah 43.19)

This very strong commitment to the saving of the world is very much the heartbeat of Father God. Yet, scripture reveals that the message of God is primarily communicated from people to people.

For example, Moses meets God in the burning bush and is told that God has heard the cry of His people, he has come down and is sending Moses! Cornelius meets an Angel who tells him to fetch for Peter. Philip encounters the Spirit of the Lord who instructs him to run to a chariot! (Why didn’t the Lord do the running?)

There really is no plan B when it comes down to how the gospel is to be demonstrated. Yet, it’s also The Missio Dei.

I believe that the paradox of these two quite separate positions causes a Holy friction that in turn creates power. The Spirit is poured out powerfully on any who are willing to go.

2) What kinds of things can we observe God doing through His church with signs and wonders?

First and foremost there is a greater understanding of God’s presence. Bethel church under the leadership of Bill Johnson has helped the world wide Church understand Signs and Wonders as part and parcel of God being whom He is. In my own very simplified distilling of the movements teaching: ‘God is good and any sickness and disease isn’t from Him (it isn’t in heaven) so He has given all Christians the power and authority to perform miracles!’

Evangelistically, books like The Ultimate Treasure Hunt by Kevin Dedman from Bethel have transformed how the Western Church seeks to meet people and bring the message of Jesus. My own praxis has been greatly influenced by this approach of asking God for clues as to whom I will meet. Expectancy is raised and rare divine appointments become the daily norm.

I wrote this recently reflecting upon an afternoon Treasure Hunting with some of my students in Peterborough:

“…We decided upon a ‘treasure hunt’ asking God for clues as to who he wanted us to offer prayer for healing to. On my list I wrote that I needed to pray for someone’s right foot and toes. As soon as we had left the building I noticed a man hobbling. He explained that he had gout in his toes on his right foot. I asked if I could pray for healing. He said ‘I’m a Muslim, so yes, you can pray as I also believe in prayer.’ I asked if I could gently lay my hands on his toes, he agreed. I knelt on the streets and prayed for him. Afterwards as he walked down the road he shouted ‘its magic!’ The pain had gone. I shouted back ‘it’s Jesus!’

Between the four of us we met 12 people in just over an hour who we either prayed for them there and then or they asked us to pray for them later. One lady kept saying ‘this is so weird!’ (In a good way!) As she felt that God had brought us to her to deliver a message. “This is a sign that you are known by God and that he loves you!” I declared over her.

We met someone who had visited the Cathedral on most days for 8 years to write prayers and light a candle. She poured out to us a complex and frightening tale of evil stories, demons tormenting her. We encouraged her to call on the name of Jesus. She asked if we would pray for her.

It felt like she had finally heard the power and authority in the name of Jesus after searching and longing for freedom for many years!

It was one of the most exciting hours I’ve spent in a long time! The joy of being used by God to pray for healing is just so good! It’s a sign to people that he’s real and true.” http://www.chrisduffett.com February 2018

Evangelist Bob Johnson in his book ‘Love Stains’ writes of an experience of a Treasure Hunt like proportions when he did some outreach with his son: “Okay son, what are you going to bring?” I looked down at Nash, my ten-year-old son. His big eyes—keenly observant as usual—sparkled back at me. Whenever I looked at those eyes, I always heard the words, “old soul” rattling around in the back of my mind. That was Nash to a T. He was an old soul. “Bungee cords.” He answered. Bungee cords. I nodded, knowing that Nash was one of the most sensitive people I’d ever known. If he heard “bungee cords,” he heard “bungee cords.” I would always tell my team to ask the Holy Spirit if they should bring, purchase, or do something for that special “one” the Lord was sending them to that night before we would go out. The Lord often uses a simple gift, action, or word, to break open the hardest walls and heal the most wounded hearts. We are always looking for the “one,” and we are always asking the Lord what we can give or do or say to find the treasure in that one.

We went to a hardware store and picked up a set of brand new bungee cords and soon we were on the streets looking for the person God wanted us to find that night and give bungee cords to. Several hours passed before Nash pointed her out to me—an old woman pushing a dilapidated stand-up cart piled high with boxes. Nash nudged me, “Dad…” he motioned with his eyes. “She needs bungee cords.” I watched from a distance as my son made his way up to the old woman. I heard him say faintly, looking into her eyes, “Ma’am? God told me to give these bungee cords to you.” He handed her the cords and she started to cry as I watched, the invisible witness from the side-lines.

Those bungee cords had stirred up something deep in her spirit. I couldn’t hear what was said next, but I saw my son lay his hands on her and pray for her, tears streaming down her face. He wrapped his hands around her and hugged her like he would hug his grandmother. She hugged him just as hard back, and then she slipped off into the night pushing her cart and boxes now securely fastened with bungee cords, still wiping her eyes and marvelling that God knew what she needed. It was a divine appointment with bungee cords.

Divine appointments like that serve as a sort of heavenly bridge between the Holy Spirit and the one God has His eye on. When we are obedient to do exactly what God says (like bringing bungee cords along on a walk through the streets) God will move. Obedience and “ears to hear” pave the way for a real God encounter unlike any memorized five-step one phrase fits all ever could. If Nash had gone up to that old woman and asked her if she knew Jesus, the odds are that she would have just walked away. But Nash didn’t do that. He had a direct assignment from God to give her bungee cords. He followed through, God showed up, and that woman left not only with bungee cords, but also with a kiss from the Holy Spirit. Nash’s obedience looked like and acted like true love because it was. People respond to love. People love to be loved. And our assignment is to love. Here’s the deal: God knows exactly what we need and when we need it. He knew that woman needed bungee cords, and the fulfilment of that need opened up the door for a Jesus encounter.”

Secondly there is an increase in how the church engages with the public, in public, with the gospel. It is a change from a predominantly ‘come and hear’ approach to ‘go and tell.’ This seismic shift in praxis has been aided by movements such as The Turning where the momentum has now spread all over the UK with a reported 7284 responses on the streets to the gospel since 2016. Yinka Oyekan, The Turning Team Leader and Baptist minister writes: “The Turning is becoming a phenomena. What looked, from a distance, like a technique, on closer inspection is revealed to be a gift from heaven. A gift that miraculously empowers ordinary Christians, enabling them to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact that we are looking at the possibility of reaching over 3 million people across 6 nations in 5 years bears witness to the enduring power of the gospel.” (http://annualreport2017.theturning.eu/)

Furthermore, Healing On The Streets teams (HOTS) have enabled the church to take the inside ‘ministry for healing on a Sunday morning’ to outside at any time or day of the week. Mark Marx writes: “Healing on the Streets is a simple, but beautiful way, to reach out to the lost and hurting on the streets of your town or city. It enables you to connect with your community every week, powerfully expressing God’s love in the market place, whatever the weather. We simply invite people to sit on chairs so we can pray for them.

The HOTS model is simple yet profound, gentle yet powerful, full of God’s presence and brimming over with love. We create a thin place on the streets where heaven and earth meet, and people can encounter Jesus. It is marked by a true sense of peace. Amongst the hustle and bustle of busy shoppers, walks the Prince of Peace. The kingdom comes, stillness falls; passers-by begin to slow and stop, as the deepening presence of God draws their hearts. Over time we build relationships, creating stepping stones for people to come to Jesus, and be healed along the way.” (http://www.healingonthestreets.com)

The taking of the miraculous gifts that used to be only demonstrated ‘inside’ to ‘outside’ is also the praxis of many other groups and ministries from Dream interpretators to chaplains in pubs, clubs and strip clubs to those who host Christ- centred mind, body, spirit type events such as ‘Light and Life’ based in Glasgow.

Last week Churches in Wolverhampton held a healing evangelistic crusade in a park over four nights. Over 200 people gave their lives to Jesus and the stories of healing have blown me away! It’s important to take stock and note that this kind of methodology in sharing the gospel is in a post-Christendom UK context.

‘Dirty Glory’ by Pete Greig gives inspiring examples of the miraculous beyond the four walls of church: “Ultimately it is only the presence of God which distinguishes us from everyone else. We drive the same cars, speak the same language, watch most of the same movies, but we are temples of the Holy Spirit. This is what sets us apart in the culture. We are carriers of the presence of God.” (Greig, 2017)

The theme of hosting God’s presence appears to be a contemporary missional phenomenon that is emphasised throughout word and spirit networks such as Fresh Streams. Hetland’s thesis is that the Christians touch cleanses the world rather than the worlds touch corrupting the believer. He likens Christians who carry God’s presence as people who set the temperature like a thermostat rather than measuring the temperature like a thermometer. He compares Christians who aren’t filled with the Spirit as those who treat people according to their history and those who host God’s presence as those who treat people according to their destiny.

Thirdly, God seems to be pouring out signs and wonders for the sake of Muslims coming to know Him through Jesus. This happens in every day to day ordinary examples of Muslims encountering Christ, such as found in Garrison’s book ‘A wind in the house of Islam,’ a phenomenological thesis, examining Muslim movements to Christ. “There are many ways Muslims are coming to faith in Christ in East Africa: dreams, answered prayers, dissatisfaction with Islam, changed lives.” (Garrison, 2003, p. 73)

However, a story that is well worth hearing due to its dramatic Holy Spirit soaked example is found in Leif Hetland’s book ‘Called to Reign.’ In the story Leif is in Asia at his hotel ready for a manic week of ministry when the Holy Spirit asks him to look at an Iman on the TV. He asks Leif what he sees. “I want you to meet with him.” The Holy Spirit commands. The person Leif saw was very influential and the entire nation could see him teach every morning on the TV. He asked his coordinator to try and arrange a meeting but they couldn’t even get through to the Iman’s secretary’s secretary!

Leif felt he was off the hook as he had tried to meet the man, but the Holy Spirit said, “No, I didn’t ask you to try to meet him. I said I wanted you to meet him.” He goes on to write:

“I don’t know how to do that.” I said.

“Good”

“It’s impossible.”

“Even better, Leif. Now we can begin.” After a few moments, I heard the voice again. “Leif, when you look at his face, what do you see?”

I knew what my natural eyes saw, but the Holy Spirit didn’t ask the question because He lacked an answer. He just wanted me to see what the Father was seeing and think the way He thinks. God knew this man before the foundation of the world. He rejoiced the moment he was born. So, who was this person in the Father’s heart?

As I listened and waited, the Holy Spirit came clearly to me with a voice that said, “He’s a man of peace.” That was not yet clear to me in the natural; that’s just what the Father was seeing in him. When you get to know the Father’s heart, you realise that he sees everyone according to their destiny rather than their past. When Stephen was martyred, most people saw Saul overseeing the event. God saw Paul. God saw something in this Muslim teacher too.

I knew this was an invitation to something God wanted to do.

Leif devised a plan to create an award for a ‘Peace award of the year” and called in at the Iman’s office and was welcomed in where he presented the award in front of around 100 Iman’s.

This obedience to the Holy Spirit opened more and more opportunities for conversation and prayer over the years including the Iman being healed dramatically and then offering healing in the name of Jesus at Mosques!

The Bakers in Mozambique also see miracles amongst the Muslim villages. They write:

Felito Utuie, a 22-year-old evangelist we have nurtured in the Lord, was trying to get a Muslim chief of a village to grant permission for an outreach. The chief repeatedly refused. Felito told him that Jesus would heal the sick. Finally, the chief asked, “If you come, will I see that happen?” “Yes!” Felito answered simply. So the chief agreed to a meeting in his village.

On the night of the outreach, the meeting began with a very quiet, open atmosphere, unlike some gatherings we have where at first we face loud demonic disruptions. Felito preached the pure, simple Gospel and asked, “Who recognizes their need of a Saviour?” Voices cried out in the dark, “I want forgiveness! I want forgiveness!” A great noise arose as the people pleaded for salvation and streamed forward to pray. Then Felito announced that he and his team would pray for the sick. Healings occurred one after another. A mother brought her 8-year-old boy who was deaf, and he was instantly healed. Felito asked the chief, “Do you see?” Immediately the chief asked for the microphone and told his own people, “This is real! No man can do this! Only God can do this! Bring more of the sick! Bring all the sick!”

One man brought his little 7-year-old daughter who was totally blind. She received prayer, and her father urgently asked her, “Do you see?” And then tears began streaming down his face as his daughter looked and saw his face for the first time in her life! And the healings continued that night….

All this last year our outreaches have been frequently bearing this kind of fruit. We don’t preach long or get complicated. The people respond in simple faith, and as soon as they see Jesus is real and will touch them miraculously, they want Him! They want salvation, they want a church, they want a pastor, now! Their chiefs beg us, “Don’t leave us! You can’t leave us like this! We’ve never seen miracles like this! You have to come back and teach us!” (Goll and Lauren, 2006 p.91)

So, if the purpose of the gifts are to be a sign to a new Kingdom and reign of God and a wonder to open people’s imaginations to the existence of God and the truth of the Gospel, how do we use them within our post-Christendom British culture?

3. How can we engage with our post-Christendom culture with Signs and Wonders?

“Post-Christendom is the culture that emerges as the Christian faith loses coherence within a society that has been definitively shaped by the Christian story and as the institutions that have been developed to express Christian convictions decline in influence.” (Worship and mission after Christendom)

Firstly I believe that signs and Wonders launch us to go to those in our community who have yet to make any sense of the Christian faith. The church needs to realize its missionary responsibilities. Be it Rural or Urban most people in our communities are now third or fourth generation pagan. We live in an unreached mission field! The Anglican Mission shaped Church report stated that:

‘The reality is that mainstream culture no longer brings people to the church door. We can no longer assume that we can automatically reproduce ourselves, because the pool of people who regard church as relevant or important is decreasing with every generation’ (2003, p.11)

Our culture is ripe for a new way of being and doing church. Sunday mornings can be about going as well as gathering, and even if we do gather they can be places in third spaces not just ‘Church ones.’

Secondly a growing trend that I have observed as I seek to present the gospel is that people are experiencing what God is like before hearing what he is like.

The role of the evangelist has shifted from let me tell you what you need to believe to let me explain what you are feeling and experiencing. This may come through a creative interactive piece of evangelism that is non conformational or through the use of the prophetic in art. It may be a simple prayer for healing or an invitation to join in a worship event in public. All over the place people are encountering God in dramatic ways and need someone to make sense of what they are experiencing!

Thirdly: love first. Signs and wonders second. I have reflected upon the times that I have seen miracles over the past 22 years that I have served as a street evangelist. The times when I am moved with compassion are the times miracles seem to flow.

If we are not moved or motivated by love then how can we connect with people who so desperately need what we have as followers of Christ? The two weightier treatise outlining the miraculous gifts (1 Corinthians 12 and 14) are on both sides of the most beautifully poetic description of what love is like. Without love, we become a noisy clanging symbol. Love enables us to carry the weight of heaven for others to feel and observe the reality of asking Father God for ‘His Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.’

Lastly, I believe that our post-Christendom culture longs for authenticity and to see the reality of Jesus in us. To unashamedly show what we’ve got and to use signs and wonders for people to see what we have is real, exposes a depth and spirituality that is bereft in most people’s lives around us.

The Spirit is handsome and beautiful. Let’s show him for the world to see!

Bibliography:

Charles Carrin, Spirit Empowered Theology (Chosen 2017)

David Watson, One In The Spirit (Hodder & Stoughton 1973)

Geoff and Hope Price, Miracles (Macmillan 1995)

Garrison D, A Wind in the House of Islam (WIGtake 2014)

Goll and Lauren, Supernatural Power of Healers & Power Brokers (Destiny 2006)

Harold Horton, The Gifts of the Spirit (Engel Press 1976)

John White, When The Spirit comes in Power (Clays 1998)

John Wimber, Power Healing (Hodder & Stoughton 1986)

John Wimber, The Dynamics Of Spiritual Growth (Hodder & Stoughton 1990)

Leif Hetland, Called To Reign (Convergence Press 2017)

Pete Greig, Dirty Glory (Hodder & Stoughton 2017)

Please also check out my books which can be found clicking on this link.

4 thoughts on “The Gospel as Signs and Wonders

  1. Hi Chris. I really enjoyed reading this – thankyou. I went off for my run today, clutching a stone that I’d decorated and written a scripture verse on, as I usually look for somewhere to leave themAs I began to run, remembering your article, I prayed that God would show me who to give it to and “yellow hat” popped into my head. It wasn’t too silly a thought as it was raining and we’re on holiday in a remote fishing village.So, I ran, in full expectation of seeing someone with a yellow hat. Nearing home, however, I still hasn’t spotted my person, but suddenly saw that the schoolboy in a life sized laminated photo outside the school ( asking motorists to slow down) had a hard yellow hat under his arm. So I put the stone down there and felt a little disappointed!I’ll keep praying and keep looking, and will have a look for the book on treasure hunting that you mention. I’m due to retire in October and will have plenty of time.And please let me know if you plan to do any training days in the Glasgow/Lanarkshire areaThankyouGod continue to bless you and use youKaren Palmer Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

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