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Thursday, January 28, 2016

To my dear readers; what I've been through recently


Two wild birds eating orange in my father's garden: Japan


Dear my brothers and sisters, thank you for reading my humble blog. I have been blessed by interacting with you and hearing your testimonies from the other side of the globe!

I've been a believer for 16 years, but except the first year of my new-birth, the rest of the years were spent in entanglement of various Christian theologies and ideas. With all my heart, I wanted to be His faithful disciple, but unfortunately, my mind was the exact mirror of the present theological situation; that is chaos. This chaotic situation sometimes tempted me to skepticism, other times to confusion. I used to lament; if Christians could adhere to one simple creed (Apostles' Creed) and not the extra denominational creeds and various post-Constantine dogmas, we could have avoided bitter strife, divisions, schism in the Body of Christ.

Well, what I am going to share with you now might excite some of you and disappoint some of you. Yes, I'd like to talk about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which for all of my Christian walk, I had not thought about it nor felt the necessity of it.

Several years ago, our Bible school took all of us to Benny Hinn Crusade, which the whole atmosphere and stage performance froze me and stumbled me. At that time, I said to myself, "If this is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, then I don't want it."

However, recently, there occurred a lively and serious discussion about this theme and I heard some of the most powerful and convincing testimonies of the Holy Spirit Baptism there. I have known them well. They are not so called emotional people but fairly logical and intellectual people. Having heard these testimonies, I was crushed to the ground, like Paul "fell to the earth" when "suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven" (Acts 9:3,4).

It was a tremendous revelation to me that I have not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Then, from this discovery, I started to understand the possible cause of my "mess" and confusions regarding the Bible interpretations and other issues. For example, I always need to rely on other peoples' interpretations and extra-biblical materials to make me sure that my understanding of this or that verse is valid. And I have never understood what He means when He said; The Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1 Cor.2:13). So, now, my dear brothers and sisters, I'd like to ask you honestly. Have you received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? If you have, then could you please share with me your testimony? Thank you very much.

12 comments:

  1. I knew that many churches and believers do not admit the Baptism of holy spirit. But I think it exists.

    What like you've seen at Benny Hin's ministry..performance which causes confusion,cheap grace trying to sell 'miracle'
    let people stumble so much.I think it's not God's will.
    This kind of atmosphere is one of the biggest reason that many churches do not admit.

    Dear Kinuko,you've already know my testimony.I pray that God supply what you need.

    Sanae



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  2. Sanae, thank you so much for your honest response. I realize I have to overcome some of my fears regarding the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. (My husband told me we will never feel scary if the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is genuinely from the LORD and not from human manipulation.)

    I also cannot understand at all when I see and hear that so called "Spirit-filled" people keep laughing and laughing, roll around the floor like animals etc...I wonder how it is possible God who loves order and peace manifest His Holy and Solemn character in "this" way? Some people say that such a phenomenon is of the devil or the collective hypnosis.What do you think, dear Sanae? How can I understand these things?

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    1. One believer said that when God touches people,they cry.(shed tears,not laugh) I felt that maybe right when I read it.

      We can distinguish from their fruits.Benny Hin's ministry has so much problem,I think.
      We should be humble to ask Lord always.What your husband said is so right,but if the phenomenon is not from the Lord,it's just delusion and confusion.

      If you can not feel peace,please stop and ask Him.

      Sanae

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    2. Dear Sanae, thank you for your wise advice. I also think it correct that when God touches people, they cry (but not "laugh").

      Thanks to your help, many questions have been solved and settled in my mind so far! I am so grateful for your love and kindness, Sanae.

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  3. I read this post and my heart just felt for you.... I have often wondered why I wasnt "joyful" all the time like it says in one of the fruits of the spirit, and that among the statements of well intented folks and pulpits on how I am supposed to fill in that "Spirit" Led Life..

    This made me question the validity of my salvation, then ever so kind and gentle.. Jehovah Father reminds me in all the ways of the Grace He has shown in my life and in all the areas that I have grown since I turned my life to him.. sure areas still need work.

    I realize my heart grieves more often than it is joyful because I have always prayed that I woud not become imunue to what hurts him..

    There is a time to mourn, and a time to rejoice..
    Dont let satan cause doubt on your heart.. Remember the KING OF KINGS sometimes graces us like gentle rain and with others Roaring Thunder.. But for HIS reasons only.

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  4. Dear Jeannie, thank you so much for your hearfelt message. Your word "Don't let Satan cause doubt on your heart,,Remember the King of Kings" really stirred up my sinking spirit now! Thank you so much, my dear sister. May God bless your life journey for ever and ever. Amen.

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  5. Dear Kinuko,
    This comment is going to be shorter than I'd like, since I have to be quick and write it before the baby wakes up! However, this is a great subject for discussion, and I think I will publish a post about it when I have more time.
    For now: We have been baptized into one body of believers by the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 12:12-14). So, yes, I too, believe that there is a baptism of the Holy Spirit. And yet, what are the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Is not SELF CONTROL one of the fruits? I don't see how laughing uncontrollably, rolling around on the ground, barking like a dog, experiencing convulsions, falling over backwards, speaking gibberish, etc. can honestly be labeled in the category of that which evidences "self control." After all, the Holy Spirit promotes ORDER in the congregation of God, NOT disorder. Also, the "spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." There is a DOMINANCE of our wills, influenced by the Holy Spirit, that comes as a result of our submission to God and His Word. In the Bible, when people encounter the power of God, do they fall over BACKWARD? I see that they always fall FORWARD on their faces in total prostration and fear. Only once do they "fall" back, and that was when Jesus pronounced that He was "I AM" in response to the soldiers who were looking for Him in the garden, right before they arrested Him. And yet, did they fall flat on their backs, or were they simply caused to STUMBLE back? I think there's a difference. I've seen much disorder in the charismatic movement, and I do believe that some of it is a result of demonic influence, and perhaps sometimes collective hypnosis, but mainly ignorance of what God's Word says.
    I can't talk much more about this right now, but I highly recommend John MacArthur's book, STRANGE FIRE, for a biblical response to the charismatic movement. I hope you aren't offended with me. I don't always have the time to comment on every post as I'd like, but I love your blog, and I love you in Christ as a precious sister! And, I'd love to hear more on this topic, since I find peaceful conversations on these tricky topics a motivation to search even more deeply into the Word of God!
    Jessica

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  6. Dear Jessica,

    Thank you so much for your passionate response (yeah, I wrote it passionately!)It was so good to read your clear explanations which were convincing.

    Thank you for telling me about John MacArthur's book, STRANGE FIRE. Recently, we've talked about MacArthur's view about Spiritual gifts, too! I think he has done a great job in regard to warn people about the chaotic issues inside the Charismatic Movement. On the other hand, he himself seems to have gone a bit too far, doesn't he?(I mean, the other extreme; namely,Cessationism.) That's because Cessationism simply does not exist especially among Christians under great persecutions.

    When I interview with Christians from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan etc,,I realize that the spiritual gifts are normal part of their church life. My husband also witnessed one uneducated brother praise God fluently in foreign languages (such as Hebrew, which he had never learned before!).

    Now, I am praying hard for Holy Spirit Baptism. At the same time, I am asking wise ladies such as you, Sanae, Caroline etc..for various issues regarding this theme, because as you see, there are so many "fake" phenomena around us today.

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    1. You make a good point about MacArthur, I think. I believe that even though God says the gift of tongues will cease when that which is perfect shall come, we are left wondering, what is "that which is perfect"? Is it the completion of the Scriptures? Or is it the new heaven and new earth? I believe that if it is God's will, a person may experience tongues or another of the miraculous gifts. However, there are also guidelines for their use, such as having an interpreter and speaking one at a time, 2 or 3 people at most, while using the gift of tongues. And it is clear from the Bible that we are not all expected to speak in tongues. And "tongues" doesn't signify gibberish, but actual languages, as demonstrated at Pentecost. There's more I could say, but for now, let me just say that I too, disagree with Mr. MacArthur on this point. However, I agree with him on everything else in his book, Strange Fire. He bases his conclusions on Scripture, and it's a great read.
      Jessica

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    2. Dear Jessica,
      Thank you for your additional comment. I am so grateful to Him for giving me such a precious opportunity to talk about this important issue with you. I am going to check out the book, Strange Fire, Jessica! Thanks a lot. Kinuko

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  7. Dear Kiuko, what a great post. I was thiking about the gift of tongues. Apostle Paul stated that the gift should be manifested when there is another person present who can understand the language.
    I have a few friends from charismatic churches and unfortunately they idolize some of the gifts. I was told that I am not a true believer because I don't speak tongues.
    I believe that I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit when I lived in the USA.
    The biggest issues with charismatic churches--prosperity Gospel teachings and worshiping the gift of tongues.I also think that the
    gifts can be resented in us at different levels.
    Irina

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  8. Good morning, Irina. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Yes, Paul is stating the existence of the interpreter of the tongue language. Though I have not received neither gifts, as far as I hear from truly humble and spiritual men and women who have these gifts, these gifts enrich believers' relationship with Him. And we can see it by their fruits.May He show us His truth according to His will. Have a blessed weekend! Kinuko

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