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Modern 'Experiences of the Gifts of the Spirit: Mine and Others'

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  • Modern 'Experiences of the Gifts of the Spirit: Mine and Others'

    This thread is intended as a companion to my Bible-based thread on Speaking in Tongues and Spirit Baptism. Methodist founder John Wesley is the source of the Methodist Quad ilateral, which states that there are sources of doctrinal authority: Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience. So this thread will generally focus on experiences of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially my own and those with whom I'm acquainted. If skpetics like Morefish had experienced what I did in my first example below, I have no doubt that they would not only treasure speaking in tongues, but would consider the experience the high point in their lives.

    (1) By far he most powerful and important turning point in my life was an experience of glossolalia at Manhattan Beach Camp in Manitoba. I was 16 at the time and felt I had lost my faith. I was determined to give it my best shot to find God real, but not to succumb to wishful thinking and emotionalism. That fateful, Tuesday, I went on a 7 mile walk towards Ninette, MB, pleading with God to make Himself real to me. That evening, I did something I'd never done before. I fasted for dinner and put my dinner money in the offering plate. After the service, I stayed at the altar and prayed to be filled with the Spirit as i had previously done in vain. After almost everyone (about 1,000) left the amphitheatre, my heart still felt like stone as I tarried in prayer. Then suddenly I felt a warm breeze, but it wasn't the wind from nearby Pelican Lake; it was the Holy Spirit first warming me and then possessing me. I was forced against my will to speak in tongues at the top of my voice. More importantly, wave after wave of liquid love surged through my being with ever increasing intensity until I feared it might kill me. My ego seemed on the verge of collapse into the divine presence.

    A Lutheran pastor observed me, unseen, and quietly came and knelt beside me. He told me he was not Pentecostal and had only come to the camp meeting as an interested observer. He said he could tell God was doing a special work in me and he asked me to pray for him. The moment i touched his forehead, he exploded into tongues like me. Another lady was sitting in the now darkened amphtheatre and just staring at me. Self-conscious, I asked her why? She said, "Don't you know? Your face is glowing in the dark!"

    When it was all over, I realized that God had said to me clearly: "Son, you long for answers to burning questions. But answers aren't good for you right now. They will make you live in your head, and i want to live in your heart. I want you to live your questions until they lead you to the center of my heart." That is the reason for my long educational pilgrimage from BA to MDiv to doctorate. Interestingly, the experience made me a much better student than I had been. And it led to experiences of spiritual gifts that, at times, provided more questions than answers.

  • #2
    After this experience, my first exercise of "the world of knowledge" was the inner knowing that my future career would be aided by being honored for the highest GPA in my province in my senior year.. A few years ago, my psychiatrist cousin reminded me that I had told him I would achieve this goal. What makes this revelation such a gift is the fact that I had previously not done particularly well in high school. When the premier of my province announced this achievement at my high school commencement, it was one of my most thrilling experiences not because of the ego gratification, but because it proved that my Spirit baptism had truly placed me in the center of God's will.
    But "the word of knowledge" is a spiritual gift that can be part of a learning curve and its application is not always easy to grasp. Consider these 2 examples:
    (1) At age 19, I was a Winnipeg college student. About 5 years my senior, my friend Dallas was the leader of our church youth group of about 150. I had just been Best Man at his wedding and was now invited to the newlyweds post-Christmas dinner. After eating, we played table tennis in their basement. Dallas mentioned that he was going deer hunting in northern Manitoba the next day and I instantly felt a sense of dread. It seemed as if I saw his skeleton and was certain that he would be killed in an accident if he went on this trip. Horrified, I felt compelled to share my premonition with him. He was offended and blamed my so-called premonition on my anti-huntng views. I had no such views, though I've never gone hunting myself. What could I do? I had no evidence beyond my certainty. I guess I hoped God would confirm my premonition to Dallas.

    A few days later, we had a New Year's Eve service at our church. What happened when I arrived at the church was straight out of a horror movie. 3 young girls in our youth group approached me, giggling, and said. You do know that Dallas was killed yesterday in a hunting accident. He was riding a snowmobile with his gun leaning beside him and hit a bump, which caused his rifle to discharge into his shoulder. He bled to death before his hunting buddies got him to a doctor. Thr girls giggled and one said to the other, "Wow, I guess we sure ruined his day!" It was as if Hell was taunting me for my friendship with Dallas. What was so funny about their youth leader's death? I charitably assumed that their was just a nervous laughter. I later obsessed over what this tragedy meant. Why was I given this premonition if it would be useless to prevent his death? And was his death predestined fate?

    (2) In my senior year at Princeton Seminary, I was about to return home for Christmas vacation. My friend Ted had just been accepted in the D. Phil. program in New Testament at Cambridge U. and I also wanted to apply to that doctoral program. So I went to Ted's dorm room and asked if I could borrow his Cambridge catalogue. As I did, I suddenly "saw" his skeleton and knew that his death was imminent. But what could I do? I didn't know how he would die. So I tried to put this knowledge out of my mind and flew home for Christmas. When I returned, I learned from Ted's friend Ken that Ted had been killed in a car accident. Ken was driving him home to Ohio, when Ken's car slipped on an icy freeway onramp and the car crashed into a pole, killing Ted and breaking Ken's arm.

    I had tried to suppress my premonition. In retrospect, I wondered if God alerted me to Dallas's and Ken's fate because He wanted me to intercede for their protection.
    M





















































    buy
    In my view, the premonitions I'll share establish the existence of a spiritual dimension.
    (1) At age 19, I was a Winnipeg college student. About 5 years my senior, my friend Dallas was the leader of our church youth group of about 150. I had just been Best Man at his wedding and was now invited to the newlyweds post-Christmas dinner. After eating, we played table tennis in their basement. Dallas mentioned that he was going deer hunting in northern Manitoba the next day and I instantly felt a sense of dread. It seemed as if I saw his skeleton and was certain that he would be killed in an accident if he went on this trip. Horrified, I felt compelled to share my premonition with him. He was offended and blamed my so-called premonition on my anti-huntng views. I had no such views, though I've never gone hunting myself. What could I do? I had no evidence beyond my certainty. I guess I hoped God would confirm my premonition to Dallas.

    A few days later, we had a New Year's Eve service at our church. What happened when I arrived at the church was straight out of a horror movie. 3 young girls in our youth group approached me, giggling, and said. You do know that Dallas was killed yesterday in a hunting accident. He was riding a snowmobile with his gun leaning beside him and hit a bump, which caused his rifle to discharge into his shoulder. He bled to death before his hunting buddies got him to a doctor. Thr girls giggled and one said to the other, "Wow, I guess we sure ruined his day!" It was as if Hell was taunting me for my friendship with Dallas. What was so funny about their youth leader's death? I charitably assumed that their was just a nervous laughter. I later obsessed over what this tragedy meant. Why was I given this premonition if it would be useless to prevent his death? And was his death predestined fate?
    M

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    • #3
      (
      3) My next premonition at seminary came in the form of a nightmare in which my life was threatened and I pleaded with God for mercy. The next day, I drove to the Newark College of Engineering, where I was doing field work as a chaplain assistant. As I was driving home in the dark on a freeway, my motor suddenly died and my car slowed to a stop. I was fortunate to walk off the freeway through the heavy traffic and my car was totaled by another car shortly thereafter. I called 2 friends, Mike and Peter, from my dorm and they came and picked me up. Both of them said they too had experienced a nightmare the night before. At least in this case, the premonition seems intended to alert me to my personal danger and to induce me to pray for God's protection. The precognitive nightmares of my 2 friends may have prepared their hearts to come to my rescue.

      (4) A subsequent premonition involved a woman who read auras. I didn't believe in aura reading; so I dismissed her claim that I would soon overreact to a disastrous experience. At the time I was renting a nice garage apartment. I had just bought a Toyota in Colorado Springs (while visiting my brother) and had driven it back to western New York. I suddenly had a premonition of a threat to my new car. I asked my landlord if I could park it in his driveway, but he refused. The next day, I was watching late night TV, when I heard a loud crash. A drunken 19-year-old girl had crahed into my car parked on the street and totaled it. The aura reader was right: I did overreact, partly because of my anticipation that something like this was about to happen. I later asked myself if my premonition was intended to prepare me to embrace this mishap in the right spirit.

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      • #4
        (5) My next premonition was clearly the most edifying and I do consider it a manifestation of "the word of knowledge." I had just finished my year of teaching and was looking forward to a much needed vacation. It was Friday and I was contemplating travel plans, when I was overwhelmed by a premonition of an imminent death that would affect my life. But who and how? The more I tried to put my sense of dread out of my mind the stronger the impression grew. By Sunday, I feared it might be a premonition of the death of a close family member. That Monday morning, I was about to bolt out of my door to have breakfast at a favorite restaurant, when an inner voice seemed to shout, "Sit down! You are about to hear about the death!" Stunned, I sat down by the phone and instantly it rang. It was the professor in charge of our summer graduate theology program. She told me that Cassian, a visiting Catholic professor had not shown up for his first class (Pauline Theology); so some students went to the on campus apartment where he was staying and got no answer to their knocking. University officials opened the apartment and found Cassian dead in bed. My colleague said she didn't want to cancel the class and that I was the only professor still around qualified to teach that course. I agreed and had an unusually fulfilling teaching experience with a group of very intellectually curious grad students. in this case, I feel that God was preparing me to sacrifice my vacation plans. despite my fatigue, to fulfill a teaching rolemight otherwise have rejected.

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        • #5
          (6) As a new pastor in a new city, I learned that parishioners in assisted living facilities had to miss lunch if they wanted to attend my church. I went for a walk to meditate on how to deal with this problem. Suddenly I felt an impulse to walk into a book store and share my problem with the salesman. He brightened up and replied, "My wife's in charge of that and I'll see to it that she fixes the problem." This is another exercise of "the word of knowledge" to edify the church.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Berserk View Post
            After the service, I stayed at the altar and prayed to be filled with the Spirit as i had previously done in vain.

            The powerful presence of the Holy Spirit
            comes to indwell at regeneration.
            No one could possibly remain a Christian without His presence.

            No wonder that prayer failed !!!

            The Holy Spirit then proceeds to move the believer
            according to the Father's will and teaches him all things.

            That did appear to come to you as a new revelation,
            which is your testimony !!!!!

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