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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

The “Signs and Wonders” of the Kingdom of God

The 2012 Kingdom Culture conference is happening here, starting today.

The  “2012 Kingdom Culture” conference hosted annually by Bethel Church, in Redding, California, starts today- and I’m intrigued.  (Are any of you participating? I’d be curious to hear more about what you know or have experienced here.)

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I’m most intrigued because of the way that Bethel Church describes itself: their web site reads that “the personal, regional and global expansion of God’s kingdom through His manifest presence” is Bethel’s mission, with one implication being that “every believer is a supernatural minister” and that “signs and wonders follow thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”

And, I’m cautiously optimistic about what seems at least from first impressions as a church living into God’s mission.  A mission that is very much about the unleashing of the kingdom of God.  (Here in the United States I don’t see this sort of intentional kingdom living modeled by churches very often.)

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That said, I’d also like to know more about the emphasis here on “signs and wonders.”  To be sure, the Jesus we meet in Scripture is always healing the sick in miraculous ways; but Jesus Himself would ask, “Which is easier, to say ‘your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?'” (Luke 5:23).  In other words, what measure, if any, in the way of “signs and wonders,” is Bethel Church using to define this dawning kingdom of God in people’s lives?

The other day an acquaintance was once again marveling at the amazing things God is doing through the healing ministry to which he belongs through his church, “Three in One Church.”  (For some reason the Triune God is always last on my shortlist of associations here, with golf and the world of retail sales vying for first; and if you’re wondering, yes, this really is the name of his church and I did not make it up.)  This time my friend had been wowed by what he described as a kind of “manna from heaven” experience- only this time the “manna” falling from the sky came in the form of a small, rough-cut diamond.  This was not the first time apparently that a diamond had fallen from the ceiling of the building where “Three in One” worships.  But it was the first time my friend had witnessed it; and he had quickly become a convert to the notion that God randomly drops diamonds from ceilings as a sign of God’s favor.

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Another “sign and wonder”? Maybe.  There seem to be all sorts of things that might qualify under this rather broad rubric of God’s sovereign omnipotence.  Still, I couldn’t help but be skeptical.

It seems to me that when we begin to set our expectations on dramatic healings from cancer or diamonds that fall from the sky, often at the expense of more “ordinary” but equally mysterious happenings, we actually limit our vision of what God is doing in inaugurating a kingdom that is truly cosmic in scope.  Afterall, we worship a God who can reveal Himself both in roaring thunder and gentle whispers (1 Kings 19).

So, what do you think about all this “signs and wonders” stuff? And, got more info or firsthand experience on Bethel?  Send it along!

Tomorrow, an update to “The Minister and the Little, Black Dress” and other miscellany.

 

  • Kristina Robb-Dover

    Thanks for reading and for sharing your experience, Joseph! Would you like to share one way you’ve seen God at work through signs and wonders?

  • http://www.christiandevotions.co.uk/prayer.php Joseph Iwaye

    I believe that God performs signs and wonders. The scripture says in Luke 1:37 that “for with God nothing shall be impossible”. I have seen it happening before and I know that God is still doing the same till today

  • Kristina Robb-Dover

    Thanks so much for this feedback, Adam! I’m so glad to hear it! I look forward to checking out the films you mention. Hope you two are well. Love, Kris

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Adam Bruso

    Kristina,

    Emily and I have been following Bethel Church for over a year now, and we have been extremely blessed by their ministry. They actually have a church plant here in Atlanta http://www.ibethelatlanta.org in which my brother attends. I have never experienced a church who is as hungary, and passionate for God and his Kingdom as Bethel. We were introduced to Bethel via the documentary movies “Finger of God” and “Furious Love” made by Darren Wilson. In the first movie Darren explores the supernatural, and “weird happenings in the church” in the second film he explores God’s love for people, and this summer a third film is being released titled “Father of Lights” which is about God’s heart. I highly recommend these films, which you can find and view online.

    Finger of God: http://vimeo.com/23558863
    Furious Love: http://tinyurl.com/cdwx687
    Father of Light trailer: http://fatheroflightsfilm.com

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