“Have you seen gold dust yet?” a lady asked one Saturday night in prayer. I responded, “We are not looking for gold dust, but His Presence when we come together. ” “Oh, I was at a meeting recently and I was so blessed by the gold dust” she responded. So, I asked her how she was blessed and got religious lingo as a response. As she told me how blessed she was by the gold dust, I thought of how this lady came into our church that night barely able to walk with her cane and in obvious desperate need of a touch from God. I explained that we were seeking God for the salvation of souls and the healing of bodies and not temporary manifestations that do nothing except draw attention away from God.
It is interesting to watch as people seem to be running here and there to experience God. I am amazed at the “manifestations” that have occurred in recent years as “proof” that God is present. People are seeing gold dust, feathers, gems, orbs, rain showers and now even pennies on the wall. I remember 32 years ago when I got saved and the incredible presence of God in my life. I saw manifestations like a changed life…my desires were no longer that of the flesh but the spirit. I no longer desired to frequent the same places, listen to the same music or watch the same movies. My language changed immediately. This was not something I had to work on; it was a complete and instantaneous change in my life. I could not get enough of the Word of God; I could not pray enough: I could not be with God’s people enough. Depression and hopelessness left me immediately as I was in relationship with the lover of my soul and the creator of my very being. What manifestations I experienced! These manifestations were not transient, but fixed and a reality in my life and did not have to be conjured up with hype, emotion, or chant.
I remember Saturday, July 7, 1979 when I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This occurred in my small bathroom (my prayer closet at that time) simply at the request of my heart to have all that God had for me. I remember the flooding in of the Holy Spirit and the flooding out of a language I had never known or spoken. I remember how I was in complete control of all my faculties and not caught up in a trance of some type as we often see and hear of today. I remember the Holy Spirit impressing into my heart that I was in control and not Him; that I could pray when I chose to pray and He would be there. I was over flowing with His Presence. I remember leaving my small “prayer closet” and wanting to just hug everyone I saw. I had such a manifestation of the love of God, something not present before.
So, what are we to think of the manifestations that are being reported today? What is the purpose and why are they necessary? Are they really a sign of God’s Presence? Is God even there?
A few months ago I spoke with a well-known minister who was asking to come to our church for a few days. This request came through a mutual pastor friend that I respect and because of this I considered the request. After speaking with the minister, I consented to his coming to the church. Later that night as I was reading, I felt an unction of the Holy Spirit to check this person’s ministry out more, so I began a computer search and pulled up a few videos of his ministry. The first video that came up was alarming as I heard the minister speak of gold dust covering a person as a sign of the glory of God and then made reference to another minister by showing a video clip of that minister and speaking of the close friendship between the two. In this video clip, the people were worshipping God until a manifestation of manna began to be observed. Immediately, the peoples’ focus left their worship of God and they were clamoring on the floor trying to get to the manna. My heart grieved as I saw how this manifestation was drawing people away from worship.
I contacted the ministry and cancelled the meeting. This minister then called me to explain that these same manifestations are seen in other very large ministries and mentioned the name of a few of these well-known leaders. I assured him that my concern was not with who was hosting these manifestations, but that they are not in agreement with the Spirit of the Word of God and that I could not afford to have these types of counterfeits in my church. I explained what the Word of God says about lying signs and wonders and especially in these days we are living in. I explained that I never see in Scripture where God has to grandstand to get people to follow Him. Jesus said He came to undo the works of the devil (I John 3:8) and He only does what He sees the Father doing. (John 5:19) There is no reference in Scripture to Jesus performing magic tricks to get people to follow Him, but instead that all He did was to bring glory to His Father.
I am concerned that many follow these manifestations because of the notoriety of some. Jesus said “Matthew 7:13-15 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
We are living in a day when we must know the Word of God and we must know His voice or we will be following every “famous” voice that comes on the scene. Notoriety and fame are not qualifiers for truth. I urge the body of Christ to get their feet on solid and balanced ground which is based on the Word of God. Jesus told the disciples that we are called to bring forth fruit and fruit that remains. (John 15:16). And, it is in bearing this fruit that God is glorified (John 15:8).
So, is the church of our Lord producing fruit or fruit cakes? Who is being glorified and who is profiting from these manifestations. We know that manifestations draw crowds and crowds draw dollars. If these things are real, let’s sell the gold dust and the gems and feed the hungry and clothe the naked, the very thing Jesus speaks so strongly of in Matthew 25. But instead, the purveyors of these manifestations are selling books and TV programs. I am not opposed to anyone’s prosperity, but not at the expense of the truth of the gospel.
So how can we know?
First, we must ask ourselves is God receiving glory for these manifestations or is a person? Does the manifestation honor God and is it consistent with the works of Christ as shown in God’s Word? We know that God can do anything He wants. We know that He can rain down cats, dogs, silver and gold if He wants. What is the purpose of the manifestation? Does the manifestation draw the attention and focus away from God and only on the manifestation? Or does it point people to God?
Secondly, is it consistent with the entire Scripture, in truth and in the Spirit of the Word of God? Satan asked Jesus to prove His deity in the wilderness and throw Himself down and surely the angels would catch Him. Satan used Scripture (Psalm 91) out of context to intimidate Jesus into falling for this scheme. Yet Jesus responded that we should not tempt the Lord God or put Him to a test by these types of reasonings. (Luke 4:12) Signs, wonders and blessings are to follow the believer (Mark 16:17; Deut. 28:1-2), but instead many chase after them.
Let’s pursue God as found in His Scripture. Let’s make His Presence a priority in our life. Let’s hunger and thirst after His righteousness, i.e., His way of doing and being right and then we will not be chasing the fads and fancies of this day.
God bless you! `