Can there be miracles, if you believe?

Technically, yes and no. There can be miracles whether you believe or not. I have no idea when I’ll stop using lyrics for post titles, we’ll see I guess.

This post is all about God and his activity in the supernatural on Earth, past and present. The motivation for this post stems from a friend’s question on the purpose of tongues in the church and another’s on Quakers, well, quaking in worship. Most of the material I’ll be using will come from one of three places:

  1. First hand experience, things I’ve witnessed or personally felt/done.
  2. Second hand experience, things people I would vouch for have witnessed or personally felt/done.
  3. The Bible.

All of the links for bible verses have the actual verse in the alt-text, so you can just hover over them to see the verse, should help with flow. Onward now!

God

Infinitely deep, rich, and complex; yet the most relatable person you’ll ever meet. A loaded sentence there. I’m coming from the perspective that God is a person, who can and wants to have a personal relationship with you. God is simultaneously one entity and three, the trinity: God the Father (God), God the Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit. These three/one are co-equal and co-eternal.

There’s some of the official theology, the point I want to focus on for now is in these two quotes:

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

“He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”
― C.S. LewisThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

So, God is good, wild, and also not ‘safe’ (or what you perceive as safe.) As Bill Johnson, senior pastor at Bethel Church and one of BSSM’s lecturers, said today, “if God wanted us to be comfortable one of his names wouldn’t be the Comforter.” The ways God expresses His self to us are innumerable, certainly beyond the documentary capacity of one book (John 21:25).

God is not to be placed in a box, and God will do as He pleases, so don’t go making rules or formulas about how He works.

The reason I’m saying all of this is because when I originally went to lay out the different kinds of ways God demonstrates his power I started limiting him to my understanding, which is a bad idea. With that in mind, I’m going to make some basic groupings later, but know that there’s more to it than what I’m writing.

Gifts of the Spirit

The gifts of the spirit are listed in a few places, mostly by Paul. My favourite one is 1 Cor 12:8-10:

  • Word of wisdom
  • Word of knowledge
  • Faith
  • Gifts of healing
  • Miracles
  • Prophecy
  • Distinguishing between spirits
  • Tongues
  • Interpretation of tongues

I don’t really want to get into things like cessationism, so I’ll drop some verses here and move along: Matt 9:35, Matt 10:7-8, 1 Cor 4:201 Thess 1:5a, and 1 Cor 14:1. I want to emphasize these last two:

“…because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.” ― 1 Thess 1:5a [emphasis mine]

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.” ― 1 Cor 14:1 [emphasis mine]

The Holy Spirit brings power to the word of God, often through us in the form of gifts, and we are to eagerly desire these gifts.

Edifying The Church

Many people say that tongues is a lesser gift of the spirit. Paul seems to agree, especially that tongues is unintelligible jibber-jabber to the ears of all, and that only the spirit understands. In general prophecy is seen as superior as it is understandable and edifies (1 Cor 14:5). Some have used this as a reason to suggest we shouldn’t speak in tongues, and nothing could be sillier. Just because something is less important doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it all, just that more important things should have priority.

Analogies:

  • Listening is more important than talking; don’t stop talking though.
  • Melody is more important than harmony; barbershop quartets are still awesome.
  • Driving a bus is more valuable to the riders than driving your own car.

Besides being silly, we have Paul himself back us up (1 Cor 14:18, 39).

My Experience

In my experience, tongues rarely involves interpretation but is a corporate act done in worship or when the speaker asks. The effect is often exciting, freeing, and fun for everyone. In a way it is edifying to the church internally, but externally it’s more like 1 Cor 14:23.

As far as quaking, shaking, rolling on the floor, well there’s the day of Pentecost which, among other things, involved behaviour described to mimic drunkenness (Acts 2). I’ve seen and heard a lot in my time as a christian. Screaming, whoops and hoots, convulsing, crying, laughing, heat, electricity, numbness, tingling. These are cases of what we call manifesting, where God’s presence is manifested physically in people. One of my most intense experiences involved electricity in my jaw, nape, and arms. I say electricity because the sensation was more intense than the electromyopathy I’d had in physical therapy.

God heals! I’ve healed people, I’ve seen people healed of impossible things (my brother saw someone healed of terminal lupus). And the healing is always available, it is always God’s will to heal, it’s one of his names! Jehovah Rapha, The God who Heals. But this is for another post maybe.

And God doesn’t just manifest in people, Bethel Church has been witness multiple times to glory clouds, collections of glittery dust that manifest from nothing, don’t really settle, and fade into nothing again. Sometimes they’re spread thin across a room, sometimes they’re thick swirls that ebb and flow in direct response to the worship team or the speaker. I’ve seen one myself and can say it wasn’t just dust catching light. My parents saw this one last year.

Conclusion

I hope that clears up some of the original questions, and opens up a wealth of new ones! Have a good one all.

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Start Spreading the News…

I’m not leaving today, but I am going to New York! I am raising money, but I’m more interested in you knowing what’s happening in my life than taking a collection. When the opportunity to partner with me on my trip comes up, feel released to skip it and have a blessed day. Enough of this talk though, let’s get to the fun stuff!

So anyway, greetings from (Redding) California! As I’m hoping you’ve already heard, I’m attending the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. It’s truly a remarkable environment where students of every age, social and cultural background come together with one common purpose, to pursue God and all His fullness. My time here has been transformative to say the least and I am so thankful for the opportunity to partner with others and face the next adventure, my school mission trip!

Bethel’s Vision

The heart and passion of the Bethel Mission Trips Department is to see the sons and daughters of God in all the nations awaken to His goodness and love. As children of Heaven, we have access to His Kingdom to demonstrate His love, glory, and power in all aspects of society. Our strategy is to raise up a generation of world changers in their own nations to begin to run with their God-given inheritance, to bring heaven to earth and transform their nation. This trip, through Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM), ultimately reflects the vision of the Bethel Mission Trips Department.

Where I’m Going

From over 60 trips in 40+ different nations, NEW YORK CITY is the trip I have been accepted to! I was delighted see such a trip offered, the first of its kind for BSSM. After investing 6 years of study, in preparation to enter the business world, it feels like a perfect fit for me. Needless to say I’m excited about this. My mission’s trip will take me deep into the heart of America’s finance and business center where I will demonstrate what partnering with God in the marketplace looks like. I will bring Heaven into boardrooms and meetings with executives, make declarations and bring the Holy Spirit’s Presence. Our mission is to bring God’s love to the ‘orphans in suits’, one of the least reached people groups in the world. The challenge of bringing the love of God to a community that is perceived as having ‘no need’, can’t be overstated.

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My group will be staying in Manhattan for a week, April 8th – 15th. The tickets are booked, and it’s my understanding that we’ve been blessed with a direct flight from San Francisco.

How you can partner

I have about $2200 to raise to cover the trip and my expenses which include flight and accommodations, and also for intangibles such as luggage fees, meals, transportation on site, and other miscellany.

The first $500 is needed by January 22nd as a deposit. No amounts is too small. I’m thankful for any support you would give to help me get there. From pennies to hundreds, it all helps. Instructions are below.

Investing in the mission trip ($1600):

Financial gifts may be made online at  https://missiontrips.ibethel.org. This gift is tax deductible and you will receive a statement at the end of the year for your tax records. If you wish your gift to be anonymous, please check the anonymous box.  This will allow you to receive an end of year statement, but will not allow me to see your name.  This is a non-refundable donation to the Bethel Church Missions Department for the benefit of the trip specified.  If for any reason I or my team does not go, unused gifts will support another mission trip sponsored by Bethel Church.  (If online payment is not an option, check donations can be made payable to Bethel Church and mailed to the following address:  Bethel Mission Trips Department, 915 Twin View Blvd.,
Redding, CA 96003.   Please include a note with the donation designating which student’s trip you are supporting.)

Investing in me personally ($600):

You can mail a cheque to me (David Lenton) and mark what you want me to use it for in the memo, I’ll honour your request as best I can. You can also use Paypal, or other methods to email me money (dave.lenton@gmail.com). Any excess funds will go to the mission trip.

David Lenton
751 Hilltop Dr, Unit 4
Redding, CA
96003
United States
Thank you so much for being a part of my life!  At the bottom of this post I’ve included some things you can pray for me and my team.  I would also love to get an update about what is going on in your life and how I can pray for you.  I look forward to sharing all the amazing things that you helped make happen while I was in New York! Even though miles may separate us, it’s really important to me to keep in touch with you!

Feel free to send me an email at dave.lenton@gmail.com, call 530-215-6269, or Skype dave.lenton; if you have a prayer request, testimony, or just to say “hi”.

Look forward to hearing from you! I pray that the life changing power of Jesus touches your life and you feel encouraged today.  I’ll keep you updated on what God is doing in my life and would love to hear what He’s doing in yours as well.

Testimonies!

Below I’ve included some amazing testimonies of God’s goodness and provision when it comes to business. They’re longer than the letter itself but such a fun read. Hopefully this gives you guys some sense of what my team and I will be doing in New York.

  1. Museum manufacturing company was struggling with income. Owner called a business friend to come pray although friend had never done this before. They just did what they knew to do and released Presence of God on owner and business. Owner then started coming in early praying over plant and operation daily. Four months later owner called a second time requesting more prayer. Initially business friend thought there was a problem but soon heard it was the opposite. Owner needed help to restructure company because so much increase! He would go pray around business and when he returned to office there would be accepted bids and requests waiting for him on email and phone. From a fearful owner to a partner with the Person of God.
  2. Business customer of a non-profit got offended and left angry. Few months later she phoned, apologizing and saying she wanted to buy non-profit leader a vehicle… “Go out and choose a vehicle up to $35,000.” Leader does so and excitedly told family the miracle turnaround in relationship. When businesswoman met with leader to give her the check she first said “I have a word for you.” Leader listens as businesswoman talks about first fruits. Leader then starts crying “I think God is telling me to give the money away and I know who Im supposed to give it to.” Businesswoman says “But you have already chosen the car and told your family?” Leader tearfully says “Yes.” Businesswoman then reaches into her purse and pulls out another check saying “God told me you would do that so I have prepared this for you.” She hands her a check for $70,000!
  3. Company had a problem with a critical process taking 7hrs – to be profitable needed to be 1.5hrs. Christian owner, R&D manager involved in a cult and third business manager who was a professed atheist. Business revivalists got them to ask God what lie they were believing about this process. They all acknowledged lies (boss mad at me – so had stopped trying, it’s impossible – so not pursuing an idea). All traded in their lies for the truth that God spoke to them. Two days later they had received the answer how to change process to 1.5hrs. Even unbelievers hear God!
  4. Man in restaurant has word of knowledge about a kitchen worker with back pain. Worker didn’t want to come out for prayer so man prayed over dinnerware and said that when it was returned to kitchen for worker to touch it and he would be healed. When dinnerware was returned, worker touched it and all back pain immediately left. Two owners then came out to find out “Who are you people?”
  5. Man takes his wife on a date. He thought he found an exclusive place to park his vehicle and converse with his wife when another vehicle pulled up literally right beside them. Frustrated, he thought to himself “Can I ask them to move?” Then he thought “This is so inconvenient I think it is a God moment.” He turned to his wife and together they asked the Father for some prophetic words for the driver. They rolled down their window and signaled for driver of other vehicle to do the same. Then they gave her the message from the Father. The woman driver started crying. “This morning I heard God say to me today is a day of decision. I was going to choose Him or commit suicide.”
  6. Pastor of 15 people was depressed banking $300 offering and went for a drive. Stopped in front of closed hospital in town of 5,000. Holy Spirit said “ask the owners to give it to you.” So he tracked down owner and asked for the hospital. Owner responded that he wasn’t actually the owner but gave contacts of two others. Pastor then asked of them. While waiting for a response he and his team decided to treat the building like it was their own and spent three days cleaning up the grounds. Next one of the owners calls and says “I’d like to give it to you but my business partner doesn’t want to.” Pastor says, “That’s OK, we are praying and we just went and cleaned up the grounds.” The owner replies by giving them the code to get inside. Pastor and wife then go through the hospital (three floors) with a legal pad and dreamed up what they would do with each room. They stuck their writing onto each door. Next the owner rings again requesting their tax details (501c3). He says “We have decided to give you the business and then we can claim a tax benefit.” “We will pay the closing costs.” “The only thing we don’t require but wonder if you would consider is paying our tax liability on the building of $12,000?” Pastor says “yes” and receives a 38,000 square foot building valued at $3million for $12,000 plus $1.00 closing!
  7. Young non-profit organization move into a rented building. Couple months later the landlord comes to them “we are selling and you can have it for $1.4m.” Non profit freaks out as all they have is $15,000. “That can be the deposit,” says landlord, “with a two week timeframe to confirm the detail and a three month settlement.” Non profit goes to seven banks who all say “no.” Then reminded of a vision someone gave them of reaching into God’s storeroom, and accessing more than enough supply, because they are His children. Agrees with God and heart feels settled. Last bank comes back to them…”our creditors believe you are not a good investment.” Regardless, leader goes on mission trip out of country for two weeks. On return there is an envelope received in the mail. Inside is a check from a Fidelity Fund anonymous donor for ONE MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. The instructions were to use it on whatever they had need. Next they took up a collection of $75,000 of donations from their organization members. Couple days later they received another check in the mail from the same Fidelity Fund and anonymous donor for $100,000. MORE THAN ENOUGH. They ended settling on the building six weeks ahead of the original plan.
  8. Woman walks up to bank teller to do a transaction. She then becomes aware of pain in her wrist due to long-standing tendonitis. “Oh I wish I’d hadn’t left my wrist brace at home,” she blurts out. “Whats wrong with your wrist?” asks the teller, “May I pray for it to be healed?” “I guess so,” she says. Teller prays and then asks her to check it out. She begins to write on a piece of paper and is shocked… “there’s no pain!”
  9. Businessman on real estate course. During break he meets another participant – older man who introduces his sister who has scoliosis. Businessman prays, scoliosis leaves, woman crying, brother crying, course presenter intrigued. Who are you people‽

Things You Can Pray For The Team and I

  • That we all make our deposits by January 22.
  • That we all get our trips paid with lots of time to spare.
  • That we really connect and mesh as a team.
  • That we leave an indelible mark on America’s biggest city.
  • That we have a such a mark on ourselves as well.
  • That this trip would become a new high water mark for ministry in business and be used as a blueprint for future trips.
  • That we have fun, and nobody gets sick.

Welcome to the end! In this post I included one instance of my favourite punctuation, can you find it? Leave it in the comments!

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