Jer. 17:5 π Zech. 4:6 π Jude 3
“...Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” ( Zech. 4:6; top )
We have not as a corporate Christian Church body ever appropriated the same spiritual power of the Book of Acts, to say nothing of the proposed power promised to the end-time body of believers.
We must marvel at Almighty God’s patience with a lukewarm, prideful, and many times arrogant body of believers who refuse to surrender to God’s plan of spiritual power.
Obviously, we are not true believers. The word “believer,” translated from the Greek means “to give over completely without reserve; a complete and total giving over to God.”
God cannot readily communicate to those who consider themselves to be knowledgeable Christian believers, when they refuse to acquiesce to Almighty God’s supernatural plans and power.
How did this lukewarmness develop? By examining the book of Jude, we see in v. 3 (top) an exhortation was given to the faithful, sanctified believers to return to the faith once delivered to the early saints. This was in 68 A.D., so in 35 years’ time something alien had crept in.
More than 50 percent of the New Testament contains references to the supernatural: Revelation 90%, Mark 57%, Matthew and John 54%. Bible scholars say that 1 Corinthians and Mark are two of the earlier books, and these have a greater amount on the supernatural.
Most present-day seminaries discount almost entirely anything supernatural, including the virgin birth of Christ. Their contention is that the first century Church was naïve, but now we have the ethical gospel, with no need for the supernatural.
However, historically we have had certain obscure, isolated groups in Christian history that have retained the first century Church's views on the supernatural, even though it is not practiced with the same fervor and purity as the Church in the book of Acts. Even the Greek Orthodox Church has retained in much of its tradition the supernatural.
- Book of Acts: 63 A.D.
- Jude: 66 A.D.
- Irenaeus: 115 A.D.
- Tertullian: 160 A.D.
- Justin Martyr: 165 A.D.
- Origin: 250 A.D.
- St. Pachomius: 292-348 A.D.
- Chrysostom: 4th and 5th centuries
- Dark Ages (in remote places)
- St. Francis Assissi: 12th century
- St. Vincent Ferrer: 1419
- Francis Xavier: 1552
- Pascal: 1600
- Huguenots: 1685
- Wetterau (Ger.): 1714
- Wesleys and McDonalds: 1800
- Numerous places since 1900
The battle between the supernatural and those that relied on human panaceas and sense and reason started back with Aristotle (384 B.C.), who said we could learn knowledge only through our senses and human reasoning, and anything else is an illusion.
Later (340 B.C.), Plato’s beliefs permeated the philosophical world for 1100 years which, even though it wasn’t Christian, promoted another avenue of knowledge besides the human intellect, which included the supernatural: prophecy, love, spiritual intuition, dreams and divine inspiration, which opened up the unfathomable world of spiritual knowledge.
In our modern era, a professor (also not a Christian) named Dr. Jung, in 20 volumes of his works, proposed that the conscious mind was only a very small part of human knowledge. He contended that personal unconsciousness and collective unconsciousness comprised by far the greatest source of knowledge, getting man in contact with the unfathomable category of the supernatural. He is almost never quoted.
Following Plato’s ideas (1325 A.D.) came another man called St. Thomas Aquinas, whose philosophy contradicted Plato and the supernatural. His contention was that Aristotle was right: we can only learn through our senses and reason, and this eliminated the supernatural. This philosophy is the backbone of Protestant and Catholic theology of today!
What can be said?
No wonder drugs, alcohol, crime and greed, and promiscuity rule the land today: we are fighting a spiritual battle using the carnal arm of the flesh.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Cursed be the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart departs from the Lord.’” ( Jer. 17:5; top )
Postscript. Recently a rather slim, unpretentious, shy, obscure and undemonstrative Catholic priest presented the following information. After studying the life of St. Thomas Aquinas quite thoroughly over the years, it was revealed that in his later years, especially on his death bed, he repented for his disregard and lack of acknowledging the supernatural power of God.
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