It has been an interesting few months in my world...It seems that everywhere I turn I'm hearing stuff about Bethel Church, gold dust, or the 'prosperity gospel.' To be fair, I started investigating this awhile back for a few different reasons. The first being I am at a new Church, and as with any new Church, I like to know what is believed, and therefore, will be taught. I also met a few new people who firmly believe in a lot of this stuff. And as for revival, Hillsong conference's theme was 'this is revival,' and it wasn't long before I started hearing about the Lakeland revival and Asuza street revival.
There's a few different topics that I want to cover so I'm going to go over them one by one. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I wanted to get it all down in one place.
Let's start with the Signs and Wonders Movement.
I had never really heard of this until Bethel became more and more popular, especially theirs and Jesus Culture's music. (Please note: this post is not meant to be an attack on Bethel Church, or even solely directed at them. They are just one of many well-known churches who believe and teach these false doctrines). Signs and Wonders is basically the belief that all evangelism must be accompanied by miraculous healing, prophetic words, or being 'slain in the Spirit' (falling over when someone who is 'anointed' touches a certain part of one's forehead, head, or stomach and base of spine).
The Signs and Wonders also tend to include gold dust, glory clouds, 'holy laughter' (laughing uncontrollably, sometimes for days), gold teeth, 'angel feathers', jerking about uncontrollably, roaring like a lion, barking like dogs, or acting like other animals.
I dont know about you - but because this stuff isn't based on Scripture, I don't believe in it. I do believe healing happens, but not as often and not as dramatically as some people like to claim. More to the point - It is not our job to tell God what to do. We are to ask for healing and then trust that He knows best, and whatever He decides to do is right. It's a hard pill to swallow, and I can see why people like to believe we can command whatever healing we like - but God doesn't work that way.
The Signs and Wonders Movement is linked with the Word of Faith Movement, also called Faith Movement, or Word-Faith Movement.
This movement holds to these doctrines:
-Faith is it's own force - just as God 'envisioned' what He wanted the world to be and then spoke it into being, we, too, can visualize what we want/need, and speak it into being.
-We are 'little gods' - as in, we are so Christlike that we are actually a god.
-'Jesus died spiritually' - He went from being a divine nature to a demonic nature, and spent 3 days and nights in hell being spiritually killed and reborn in God, therefore becoming divine again and being able to actually save us from our sins.
- We can be as wealthy as we like by giving to certain churches and preachers... This is 'sowing the seed of faith'... It also means that poverty is a curse of the law, and something Jesus set us free from.
- Sickness is a demonic power and therefore something Christ has delivered us from. Because we are primarily spirits, not bodies all sickness is spiritual. If physical symptoms remain after 'speaking healing' over sickness, it is just because our body doesn't recognize the healing....
Does anyone else see the problem with this doctrine??! Where is any of this in Scripture?
Now, onto gold dust. While people often dont buy into these other doctrines, they do believe in gold dust or glory clouds, primarily because they have seen them. My question to you is, what makes you believe gold dust is from God? Last time I checked, the Bible does NOT mention gold dust, glory clouds, gold teeth, or angel feathers in reference to the way God reveals Himself. In fact, the only time gold dust IS mentioned, is when Moses burns down a golden calf the Israelites have built and are idolizing (Exodus 32:15-20). I have heard every excuse possible to explain gold dust, including 'God can do anything and we shouldn't try to explain it' to once you've seen it, you will believe too. My point is, I have no doubt that gold dust and glory clouds do happen. But I do NOT, for one second, believe it is from God. Why would He do that? What is the actual point? Ever thought about the fact that just maybe, it could be Satan's way of deceiving people?
And finally, revival.
Revival is incredible - when it's true. Assemblies of God in America issued a statement regarding revival a few years back that I think sums it up perfectly.
"Miraculous manifestations are never the test of a true revival. Fidelity to God’s Word is the test." (Click the sentence for the full statement.)
We cannot limit God in revival, and we cannot try to explain every work He does. But if all revival is, is people acting like lunatics and seeing Signs and Wonders, it is not true revival.
Revival comes so that people may be saved, and filled with the Holy Spirit in order to effectively go and preach His Word. It doesn't matter how many people are supposedly healed in a 'revival', or how many Christians see 'manifestations of the Spirit.' If people are not truly receiving salvation, and finding new strength to go into the world and make disciples, whilst being committed to God's Word - it is not true revival.
Before I finish, I want to clarify. I am a born again Christian, I read Scripture, and I love the Church. But I do not, and cannot buy into a prosperity gospel, and I cannot support ministries that promote or even believe in, Signs & Wonders. I wrote this post because lately, I am seeing a lot of people around me believing false doctrines. I am seeing innocent Christians being taught lies, without ever knowing they have been deceived. It can seem hard to discern what's truth and what's not, but Jesus makes it clear in Scripture what we are to do.
Matthew 7:15, 16, & 20 - Along the way, watch out for false prophets. They will come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath that quaint and innocent wool, they are hungry wolves... But you will recognize them by their fruits... When a prophet comes to you and preaches this or that, look for his fruits: sweet or sour? rotten or ripe?
1 John 4:1-3 - My loved ones, I warn you: do not trust every spirit. Instead, examine them carefully to determine if they come from God, because the corrupt world is filled with the voices of many false prophets.Here is how you know God's Spirit: if a spirit affirms the truth that Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, has come in human flesh, then that spirit is from God. If a spirit does not affirm the true nature of Jesus the Anointed, then that spirit does not come from God and is, in fact, the spirit of the Anti Christ.
Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Friends, ask God for discernment. Read the Word, and dont be afraid to test all you have heard, and currently believe. Run everything through the filter of His Word. Ask Him to show you the Truth. He won't leave you hanging when you genuinely search for Him.