Statement on spiritual gifts and signs and wonders
Statement on Spiritual Gifts and Signs and Wonders

VALLEY HARVEST CHURCH

STATEMENT ON

SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND SIGNS AND WONDERS

Vision of Valley Harvest Church:  To Equip the Saints for Ministry

It is our prayer that the entire body of Christ come to the correct knowledge and understanding of the Word of God on the subjects of spiritual gifts and signs and wonders and demonstrate the power of the Kingdom of God through love and the special gifts He has given to His church.

Valley Harvest Church, along with many other churches and ministries around the world, has accepted Jesus Christ’s invitation to ‘come up’ and see and hear what the Lord would show us and tell us (Rev 4:1).  To answer this call and pursue to live and demonstrate the Kingdom of God through His gifts and signs and wonders comes with great price.  But, it is a price we willingly pay.

The following statements on gifts, signs and wonders and other related topics are not intended to be exhaustive.  If you have questions or comments after reading these statements, please contact the church at contact@valleyharvestchurch.org.  Valley Harvest Church Statement of Beliefs may be found at http://valleyharvestchurch.info/Information/statement-of-faith/.

Valley Harvest Church does not seek after signs and wonders or any other supernatural manifestation.  However, we do allow the Holy Spirit to move among us as He chooses.  Jesus Christ has chosen to manifest Himself in many different supernatural ways to us corporately and individually.  It is His sovereign right to do so and to do His work with or without supernatural phenomena.

Valley Harvest Church does not pass judgment on those who disagree with the beliefs of Valley Harvest Church.  However, we will defend the truth that Jesus Christ has revealed and will continue to faithfully pursue the vision and mandate that He has given to Valley Harvest Church.

These statements may be changed in the future to bring further clarification, if necessary.

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GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT AND SIGNS AND WONDERS ARE PERPETUAL

We believe according to Romans 11:29 that the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:1-31) are irrevocable and enduring through all ages for the benefit of believers and unbelievers alike and that they are to be desired (1 Cor 14:1); that signs and wonders will accompany the preaching of the Word and that they will follow those who believe (Mark 16:15-20, Acts 4:28-33).  Valley Harvest Church endeavors to carry out 1 Peter 4:7-11, with each of our members using whatever gifts we have received to serve others and faithfully administer God’s grace in its various forms.

GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

The gifts of the Spirit, as listed in 1 Cor 12:1-31, must always be properly used and done so in love (1 Cor 13:1-13).  Spiritual gifts are for the purpose of edification.  If the use of gifts is not edifying, then they are counter-productive.  Valley Harvest Church understands that there may be some who can operate powerfully in the gifts, yet whose hearts are self-serving (Matt 7:15-23).  However, this is not an acceptable reason to deny or suppress in entirety the ongoing validity of spiritual gifts or the proper teaching and administering of the gifts.  Fear of the gifts or fear of the gifts being improperly exercised is also not an acceptable reason to speak contrary to the many scriptures that validate the use of spiritual gifts.

SIGNS AND WONDERS

Signs point to Jesus Christ.  Our aim is to become conformed into the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29).

Valley Harvest Church neither seeks after signs and wonders nor denies them when Jesus chooses to use them.  Valley Harvest Church understands the biblical warnings of Matt 24:24 and1 John 4:1, among others, that admonish the church to discern the spirits and, therefore, Valley Harvest Church exercises discernment.  We trust that when we entreat the presence of God, He will not give us anything that is not of Him (Lk 11:9-12).  However, this does not eliminate the need for discernment.

Valley Harvest Church seeks to worship and exalt Jesus Christ and believes the Holy Spirit will come in answer to our prayers.

We believe God still uses signs and wonders to serve His purposes.  Signs and wonders are prominent throughout the entirety of the Bible.  Signs are by biblical definition (Strong’s #4592, Greek) defined as indications of the supernatural.  Wonders are by biblical definition (Strong’s #5059, Greek) defined as simply that – wonders! A wonder is a feeling of surprise that makes one marvel with admiration at something that is beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.  Wonders go beyond the natural understanding of the mind.  Signs and wonders include, but are not limited to, speaking in tongues, casting out demons, laying hands on the sick (Mark 16:17-18).  Signs and wonders will follow the preaching of the Word and will follow those who believe, with the Lord working with them (Mark 16:20).

Valley Harvest Church believes that to follow completely the example of Jesus Christ the ‘modern day church’ should be one that walks in miraculous power with love.

Valley Harvest Church makes neither a positive nor a negative judgment based on the occurrence of signs and wonders or the lack of them.

PUTTING THE SIGN OF JONAH IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE

In Luke 11:29 Jesus says, “…This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.”  In proper context, this is a statement that Jesus makes to an unbelieving generation that, when fulfilled, would prove that He was indeed the Son of God.  As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a fish, so would Jesus be interred three days and three nights.  To use this example to say that all other signs are obsolete would be an inaccurate stretch of the intent and context of this scripture.  Jesus clearly used signs and wonders and to single out this text to say only one sign is needed is to cast doubt on and deny the very signs and wonders Jesus Himself used. To use this scripture to deny the authenticity of any signs that Jesus has chosen to use since His resurrection would be applying a limit on Jesus’ sovereignty and His supernatural nature.

MANIFESTATIONS

Many different manifestations can happen when the Holy Spirit truly has freedom to move.  These manifestations can include, but are not limited to, falling/resting in the Spirit, shaking, the appearance of drunkenness, crying, laughter/joy, prophetic revelation, visions/trances, tongues, weightiness and the supernatural appearance of gold-colored dust, ‘manna,’ oil, feathers, and jewels.

Supernatural manifestations, in many forms, can show the Lord’s presence (Ex. 33:14-16).

Valley Harvest Church exercises wisdom and discernment as manifestations occur.  It is wisdom to ask questions about supernatural experiences and to properly discern them.  However, we do not automatically deny them.

Some manifestations are clearly referenced in scripture.  Others may only be implied.  Ones implied are, however, no less valid.

Valley Harvest Church has witnessed many testimonies to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life after these persons have experienced supernatural manifestations.  Much good fruit has been borne as the result of people experiencing their supernatural God in these ways.  Experiencing God through these manifestations is not necessary for Christians, in the sense that not having these experiences will not jeopardize their assurance of eternal life.  However, we cannot deny these supernatural experiences and the amazingly good fruit that can result in those who encounter the living God in such dramatic fashion.

Following is a list of manifestations with scripture references.  This list is not exhaustive.  There are also many historical references that are not listed here.  It is helpful to keep in mind that Biblical Studies state that there are primary scriptures and secondary scriptures that explain any particular theological point.  Primary scriptures are direct and clear scriptural proof.  Secondary scriptures are implied, although not considered less important.  Some manifestations may not have scriptural proof at all, but can be judged by the fruit that is borne.

Falling/Resting in the Spirit:  Gen 15:12; Ezek. 1:28 & 3:23; Matt 17:5-7

Shaking:  Dan 10:7; Jer. 5:22 & 23:9; Matt 28:4

Appearance of Drunkenness:  Jer. 23:9; Acts 2:13

Crying:  Neh. 8:9; 2 Chron. 34:27

Laughter/Joy:  Neh 8:10; Psalm 16:11 &  Psalm 126:1-6; Luke 10:21; Jn. 17:13; Heb 1:9

Prophetic Revelation:  Num. 11:29; Acts 2:17-18; 1 Cor. 14:1-40

Visions/Trances:  Num. 12:6; Acts 2:17; Acts 10:10

Tongues:  Acts 2:4; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6; 1 Cor 12:10; 1 Cor 14:1-40

Weightiness:  Num 11:25; 2 Chron 5:13-14; Matt 17:5-7

Gold-like dust, ‘manna,’ oil, feathers, jewels – These are specially manifested displays of heavenly glory that Jesus has seen fit to bless Valley Harvest Church with, as well as many other churches and individuals.  There are scriptures that reference each of these, so we know that the heavenly realm holds these precious commodities.  The names attached to some manifestations (gold-like dust & manna) are names given to the manifestation because of their natural appearance.  The gold-like dust has the appearance of gold colored flakes.  The small pieces of wafers that appear look like ‘manna’ as described in scripture (Ex 16:14-15, 31). It should be noted that some people have taken the jewels, in particular, to professional jewelers for analysis.  Reports are that the jewelers could not identify the exact type of jewel that came in the church services.  There was no match for it in the natural.  The jewels looked similar to other known natural gems, but they were, in fact, not identical.  Therefore, no monetary value could be declared and the jewels could not be exchanged for money that could be useful in this world.

TRUE PRAISE AND WORSHIP OPENS THE HEAVENS

Pure worship in spirit and truth opens the heavens and creates an atmosphere for the Holy Spirit to move freely.  Valley Harvest Church worship services are sometimes active, sometimes peaceful, orderly, and full of joy.  People are blessed, healed, and empowered as God inhabits the praises of His people.  Good fruit is borne as God is worshipped and exalted.  The praise and worship is aimed at our God, not at seeking any sign from Him.  There are many different styles of music that, when sung from the heart in true worship, can bring the manifest presence of God.  Some wrongly believe that simply repeating the same words or verses of a song is a ploy to mesmerize or hypnotize the people.  This would be an accusation that is not based on any fact or experience that we’ve had at Valley Harvest Church.  Any sincere worship from the human spirit will connect with the heart of God.  Again, we look to the fruit that is borne.

ANGELS

Valley Harvest Church does not worship angels, but understands their various roles and that they are always present.  We know that angels hearken to the voice of His word (Psalm 103:20) and so believe that speaking the Word of God in faith puts into action the angels that surround us.

THE VESSELS GOD CHOOSES TO USE

God is sovereign and, therefore, has the right to choose the human vessels He will use to carry out His purposes.  Sometimes they are the people we least expect.   There are no perfect vessels.  All vessels are in a process of refinement.  It is not for us to judge who God chooses to use.  We endeavor to show love and mercy, understanding that God sees the potential in every person, that He is a just judge and that He does not condemn us for past failures or imperfections.  Throughout world history God has used imperfect people, even unbelievers, to accomplish His will.  It is no different today. (David committed adultery and murder.  Jacob was a liar.  Elijah showed a lack of faith in God, Jonah was prejudiced. Pharaoh and King Nebuchadnezzar were unsaved rulers.)

We cannot guarantee perfect people, but we can guarantee a perfect God!

WHY GOD MANIFESTS ONLY IN CERTAIN CHURCHES

It is the belief of Valley Harvest Church that Jesus Christ will meet any person or church who seeks God with all their heart. We believe that worship in spirit and truth creates an atmosphere that is pleasing to God and provides a place where the Holy Spirit feels free to move.  He has the sovereign right to manifest, or not manifest, as He chooses.  Manifestations do not make any church or person better than any other.  Similarly, a lack of manifestation does not mean a church or individual is not Christian.

As a church (Valley Harvest Church), we can attest to many truly authentic supernatural occurrences.  We do not seek after them, but we receive them with grateful hearts, as the Lord chooses to reveal Himself to us through supernatural phenomena.

Valley Harvest Church does not judge any church or person that does not experience heavenly supernatural phenomena.

 

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