He had probably talked 20 or 30 minutes, and you could feel the restlessness in the room. But just hang with me here. What they wanted was for him to lay hands on them. After he finished, people came up to the stage, and they were being slain in the spirit.
People were falling down and getting healed.
Prophet - Wikipedia
They want to access the power themselves to make a difference in the world. Flory: The desire for this kind of experience is broader than just this group. It works out in interesting ways among these INC Christians, but we see it across different religious groups that we have studied at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture. How do they manage? Flory: INC leaders have leveraged digital technology to get their message out—smartphones in particular, where you can get anything you want as long as you have some kind of digital connection.
That just expands the world exponentially for these people. IHOP is particularly good at doing that. They say their website—in terms of viewed video content—is one of the top 50 websites in the world. Between the internet and the conferences, they have figured out ways to leverage that big, exhilarating, hyped-up experience you get in a stadium venue. They can bring in four or five apostles, and then their followers flock to see them.
People have these significant experiences that juice them up to contact the apostles over the internet.
If they can go to a conference two or three times a year to get a new jolt, that becomes the new rhythm, as opposed the weekly rhythm of church life. On some levels, it sounds like theocracy. Christerson : They really believe that God is behind it all, that he is appointing people into these high positions, and that they will know what to do when they get there.
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They will be listening to God, and he will use them to supernaturally make America or the world into the kingdom of God. But they are not Pentecostals, and they have nothing to do with these groups. The movement just latches on to them and claims God is using Trump to bring in the kingdom. If Trump collapses or gets impeached, they will not look very good.
None of that is even on their radar.
The Expansion of Prophetic Experience
This is nothing like that. But the INC movement is explicitly post -millennial.
Do INC leaders engage in any self-reflection about the dangers of holding major power without oversight? The real danger, they would say, is when institutions become more powerful than the individuals that God calls. Christerson : Peter Wagner talked about the differences between the two groups. He said that the prosperity gospel thought that money was a blessing for the sake of blessing. For his own New Apostolic Reformed movement, the prosperity comes from God in order to transform the world for God.
Interestingly, INC leaders think that the business world is the key to all of this—because wealth is more powerful than all other forms of power. They anticipate this huge transfer of wealth to believers. Many INC apostles are very successful. So why have they stayed out of the spotlight, at least in the broader culture?
They have their own networks for disseminating information and getting attention. They are not sending our press releases. Those religions that look upon God as a free and personal spirit distinct from the world accept revelation in the more specific sense of a divine self-disclosure, which is commonly depicted on the model of human intersubjective relationships.
The media by which revelation occurs are variously conceived. Most religions refer to signs, such as auditory phenomena, subjective visions, dreams , and ecstasies. In indigenous religions, revelation is often associated with magical techniques of divination.
In mystical religion e. In nonliterate culture s, revelation is frequently identified with the experience of supernatural power mana in connection with particular physical objects , such as stones, amulets, bones of the dead, unusual animals, and other objects. The sacred or holy is likewise believed to be present in sacred trees, groves, shrines, and the like, and in elemental realities such as earth, water, sky, and the heavenly bodies. Once specified as holy, such objects take on symbolic value and become capable of mediating numinous spiritual experiences to the adherents of a cult.
Certain charismatic individuals, such as shamans , who are believed to be in communion with the sacred or holy, perform functions akin to those of the prophet and the mystic in several other religious traditions. The notion of revelation in the specific sense of a divine self-communication is more apparent in Western than in Eastern religions. In Hinduism , the dominant religion of India, revelation is generally viewed as a process whereby the religious seeker, actuating his deeper spiritual powers, escapes from the world of change and illusion and comes into contact with ultimate reality.
The sacred books are held to embody revelation insofar as they reflect the eternal and necessary order of things. The leading sage of Advaita Vedanta, Shankara early 9th century , while acknowledging in principle the possibility of coming to a knowledge of the Supreme Reality brahman through inner experience and contemplation of the grades of being, held that in practice a vivid apprehension of the divine arises from meditation on the sacred books, especially the Upanishads.
In Vishishtadvaita , systematized by the philosopher and theologian Ramanuja c. Revelation, consequently, is viewed as the gracious self-manifestation of the divine to those who open themselves in loving contemplation.
Nature and significance
The devotional theism of Vishishtadvaita, very influential in modern India, resembles the pietism and mysticism of the Western religions. Buddhism , the other great religion originating on Indian soil, conceives of revelation not as a personal intervention of the Absolute into the worldly realm of relativities but as an enlightenment gained through discipline and meditation.
The Buddha 6th—5th century bce , after a striking experience of human transitoriness and a period of ascetical contemplation, received an illumination that enabled him to become the supreme teacher for all his followers. Although Buddhists do not speak of supernatural revelation, they regard the Buddha as a uniquely eminent discoverer of liberating truth. Chinese wisdom, more world-affirming than the ascetical religions of India, accords little or no place to revelation as this term is understood in the Western religions, though Chinese traditions do speak of the necessity of following a natural harmony in the universe.
Prophets in ecstatic trances often have experienced sensations of corporeal transmigration as did the 6th-century- bce Hebrew prophet Ezekiel and the 6th—7th-century- ce founder of Islam , Muhammad.
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Such prophets are esteemed by coreligionists to have a predisposition for such unusual sensations. The functions of the prophet and priest occasionally overlap, for priests sometimes fulfill a prophetic function by uttering an oracle of a deity. Not only do the roles of the prophet and priest overlap, but so do the roles of the prophet and shaman.
The diviner , sometimes compared with the prophet, performs the priestly art of foretelling. His art is to augur the future on the basis of hidden knowledge discerned almost anywhere, as in the constellations astrology , in the flight of birds auspices , in the entrails of sacrificial animals haruspicy , in hands chiromancy , in casting lots cleromancy , in the flames of burning sacrifices pyromancy , and in other such areas of special knowledge see also divination: Astrology ; divination: Other forms ; shamanism.
Mystics and prophets are similar in nature in that they both claim a special intimacy with the deity. But while many religious traditions hold that the mystic strives for a union with the deity, who usurps control of his ego, the prophet never loses control of his ego. On occasion mystics have delivered messages from the deity, thus acting in the role of a prophet, and have been known to use ecstatic trances to reach the divine or sacred world; e.
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