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Today, I share several of my own personal experiences. Before we dig in, I need to tell you a conversation with my younger brother Bryan, whose story I tell in my book Evolution 2.0 and on my site (Gulp.) He continues: “Every single supposed ‘miracle’ can be explained by sleight of hand, placebo effect, or wishful thinking. She and Charlie had treated it for years, prayed for years that it would be healed, and it wouldn’t budge. Experience #2: I got to Rajahmundry, India in June 2007 with the customer service manager at my company, Jeremy Flanagan.
Bryan had gotten a Master’s Degree in Theology at Master’s Seminary in Southern California. There’s no such thing as a medically documented miracle.” He was definitely right about the New Testament part. Then one morning at her Bible study, a woman suddenly stood up and said, “God just told me to pray for you, to be healed, RIGHT NOW.” So they did. Jeremy, as it turns out, has been having experiences like this himself. At a church service one Sunday, the pastor, Isaiah Gottimukkala, invites anybody who wants any kind of healing prayer to line up in front of Jeremy.
It grew and grew until 5,000 to 10,000 people were showing up every single night. The whole thing caved in when Bentley was found to be having an affair with one of his staff members. Wait, there’s more…) I jumped on a plane and flew there to see the whole thing for myself. On the hotel shuttle bus to the meeting I met a woman from Hong Kong who had flown to London to pick up her daughter, a college student who had severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Loud music, crazy people dancing and singing, and rolling around on the floor. At one point he stops and says: “I’m telling you right now, somebody in here has been deaf in one ear for 34 years. You can watch this in this video: The man’s name was Brian Burgee. Brian’s story was reported in the Charlotte Observer on June 19, 2008. Chandler followed up with the people described in the article personally and checked their stories. When people are really getting healed and things are happening that the establishment claims are impossible, mostly what you get is silence. He was restoring to her what she thought was no more. Experience #6: 0n April 17, 2012, I was at a conference in Moravian Falls, North Carolina, sitting right next to a woman named Dierdre from Sydney Australia when she was healed after 40 years of severe hearing loss in one ear. When Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14 “Earnestly desire the greater gifts”, was he only talking to apostles?
The daughter was skinny as a rail and looked like the walking dead. This Todd Bentley guy is marching around the stage, shouting, kicking people, slapping them, proclaiming them healed. Or irrational protests from people who still insist it’s impossible. Since Alex was losing his hair, several of his friends, including Dylan Fancher, all decided to shave their heads as a sign of Solidarity with Alex during his healing and recovery process. That night God also gave her an impartation of JOY and LAUGHTER. All I can say is, you had to see it for yourself to fully appreciate it. People getting healed of lupus, deafness and paralysis are all remarkable. It’s just that the bitter sting has been taken out. You pray for the uncle or aunt or grandpa or child. Here’s me interviewing her about what happened: Finally there are some things that need to be said about miracles. Cessationists are often skilled rigorous expositors of scripture, but the cessationist arguments don’t meet their own standards of interpretation.
(Not all that different from atheists trying to tell me DNA isn’t actually a code.) Experience #4: I have a friend named Noemia Cessito. Luxuries that westerners take for granted are simply unheard of there. Below is a video of Alex shaving Dylan’s head in the restroom of Alex’s hospital room: Alex Smiley shaves Dylan Fancher’s head: Solidarity, and Friends Forever Just the day before, Alex had begun his Chemo treatments. The bitterness and the grief melted away and she began laughing with delight. But being healed from aching loss and sickening sorrow over a lost husband and dear son – that one takes the cake. Jess experienced a literal impartation of the beautiful scripture of Isaiah 61: For those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. I know the feeling of exasperation and desperation when you pray and it feels as though those prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. Your prayer doesn’t get answered the way you want it to. You only have to experience ONE undeniable miracle and then you KNOW. Quoting 1 Corinthians : “And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. The church has sliced off one of its testicles and thrown it in the garbage.
She and her husband Jeronimo run a school, church, AIDS hospice, medical clinic and feeding program in Beira, Mozambique. Noemia tells this strange story: One evening our church met for prayer. (The joy of shaving Dylan’s head sorta made up for the first day of chemo.) That was July 6, 2009. She lost both her husband and first-born son to leukemia. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. This is one of the reasons that TV healing ministries have become such a circus: it’s partly because most of Christianity has marginalized the healing gifts. But it’s a whole different world when you see people whom you’ve known for years get healed in person, with your own eyes – on TV. My friend, let me assure you: When the church begins to operate on all 8 cylinders, it becomes a force to be reckoned with. The atheists and cynics and religious gestapo can whine and moan all they want to, but real people are being set free every day.
Because of mounting doubts, he was bailing on the whole thing. There is NOTHING in the Bible whatsoever to suggest that miracles should stop. From healing the paralytic to forgiving sins to feeding the 5000 to rising from the dead, all are offered as things only God can do. She could not raise her elbow past the middle of her chest. By the time Jeremy was done both shoulders felt identical, there was no cracking and she could raise her arm above her head on her own strength.
Another lady, Mary, maybe 30 years old, had somewhat recently had brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Hair was fully sworn and the head was like smooth sponge. and also her hand is not working and she doesnt have any feeling on her hand. I know pastors and seminary professors who’ve been fired from their jobs because they believed in miracles. I have a friend who had severe ADHD and was deaf in one ear. He won’t let me use his name and picture here on my blog because his father is a prominent figure in evangelical Christianity and news of a miracles might threaten his dad’s career. We wonder why there’s an atheistic bias in the western world?
Master’s is very conservative and holds a doctrinal position that miracles ceased after the disciples. Nowhere is there so much as a hint that the miracles were going to go away. Plus, when you turn on the TV and see the faith healers plying their trade, most of us run out of the room screaming. What if all this stuff about miracles is hocus-pocus and Santa Claus? My eyes were suddenly wide open for information that would either confirm or deny this. Experience #1: I had lunch near Cincinnati Ohio with an old co-worker named Charlie Keck. Charlie was an engineer who lived in Tipp City Ohio. And Geri felt this warm sensation flushing through her abdomen and the lupus was healed. Jeremy calls me over to help him and we start prayin’ for people.
He’d spent time in the ministry including a stint as a missionary. In fact miracles are held out as proof of the authenticity of Jesus as the Son of God. For several months I was almost persuaded that he might be right. One woman, maybe 60 years old, had fallen a year ago and hurt her arm.
People started to pray for things like shoes, a chair, a shirt, a loaf of bread. On Wednesday, October 14, 2009, an infection raged out of control and Alex died. She made it through Alex’s funeral under the care of friends, lots of prayer and a couple pints of vodka. (Oh, and I haven’t said a single word about the awesome power of prophetic people. He had grave doubts because his prayers weren’t being answered. When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?
I never heard anyone pray for a pair of shoes or a loaf of bread before. I’ll save that discussion for another post.) You’re invited. In Matthew 11, Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist was in prison. ” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
How could I possibly ask for ice cream when so many people are starving and are in so much need? But my mouth started to water because I so wanted to have some ice cream. I didn’t have the courage to say, “God, please give me some ice cream.” I knew that I could, but I didn’t have the courage. I was crying because I was homesick for Brazil, and I so wanted a taste of ice cream. ” He didn’t understand me but finally through gestures I got out of him that someone at the airport gave him that box to deliver to “Naomi.” It had been flown in on a plane from South Africa. He had started developing bruises on his skin and a doctor’s appointment revealed that he too had leukemia. To date I haven’t personally met an amputee whose arm has grown back. The closest I’ve come is my friend Yosef Bender from Chicago.