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Thread: My Journey through the Lens of Charismatic and Paranormal Experiences

  1. #11
    But "the word of knowledge" is a spiritual gift that can be part of a learning curve and its application is not always easy to grasp. Consider my next 2 premonitions:

    (6) At age 19, I was a Winnipeg college student. About 5 years my senior, my friend Dallas was the leader of our church youth group of about 150. I had just been Best Man at his wedding and was now invited to the newlyweds' post-Christmas dinner. After eating, we played table tennis in their basement. Dallas mentioned that he was going deer hunting in northern Manitoba the next day and I instantly felt a sense of dread. It seemed as if I saw his skeleton and was certain that he would be killed in an accident if he went on this trip. Horrified, I felt compelled to share my premonition with him. He was offended and blamed my so-called premonition on my anti-hunting views. I had no such views, though I've never gone hunting myself. What could I do? I had no evidence beyond my certainty. I guess I hoped God would confirm my premonition to Dallas.

    A few days later, we had a New Year's Eve service at our Pentecostal church. What happened when I arrived at the church was straight out of a horror movie. 3 young girls in our youth group approached me, giggling, and said. "You do know that Dallas was killed yesterday in a hunting accident. He was riding a snowmobile with his gun leaning beside him and hit a bump, which caused his rifle to discharge into his shoulder. He bled to death before his hunting buddies got him to a doctor." The girls giggled and one said to the other, "Wow, I guess we sure ruined his day!" It was as if Hell was taunting me for my friendship with Dallas. What was so funny about their youth leader's death? I charitably assumed that theirs was just a nervous laughter. I later obsessed over what this tragedy meant. Why was I given this premonition if it would be useless to prevent his death? Was his death predestined fate?

    (6) In my senior year at Princeton Seminary, I was about to return home for Christmas vacation. My friend Ted had just been accepted in the D. Phil. program in New Testament at Cambridge U. and I also wanted to apply to that doctoral program. So I went to Ted's dorm room and asked if I could borrow his Cambridge catalogue. As I did, I suddenly "saw" his skeleton and knew that his death was imminent. But what could I do? I didn't know how he would die. So I tried to put this knowledge out of my mind and flew home for Christmas. When I returned, I learned from Ted's friend Ken that Ted had been killed in a car accident. Ken was driving him home to Ohio, when Ken's car slipped on an icy freeway onramp and the car crashed into a pole, killing Ted and breaking Ken's arm.

    I had tried to suppress my premonition. In retrospect, I wondered if God alerted me to Dallas's and Ted's fate because He wanted me to intercede for their protection. These premonitions kept coming and were never wrong! Stay tuned for more accounts.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Berserk View Post
    When it was all over, I realized that God had said to me clearly: "Son, you long for answers to burning questions. But answers aren't good for you right now. They will make you live in your head, and I want to live in your heart. I want you to live your questions until they lead you to the center of my heart." That is the reason for my long educational pilgrimage from BA (U. of Winnipeg) to MDiv (Princeton) to doctorate in New Testament, Judaism, and Greco-Roman Backgrounds (Harvard). Interestingly, the experience made me a much better student than I had been. And like marijuana, that experience of glossolalia seems to have functioned like a gateway spiritual drug that soon led to other gripping experiences of other spiritual gifts, especially "the word of knowledge" (1 Corinthians 12:8-10).

    You said God told you - "Son, you long for answers to burning questions. But answers aren't good for you right now. They will make you live in your head, and I want to live in your heart. I want you to live your questions until they lead you to the center of my heart"

    Do you believe getting educated in a higher learning, academic college helped develop you spiritually?
    The reason I ask is that some christian students end up atheist or agnostic by going to these liberal educational colleges. Many of them water down the gospel message and become liberal in theology.

    Did these academic studies help you get you closer to God and learn to walk with the Holy Spirit?

    I'm not against trained christian theology but prefer a college that is dedicated to the gospel message and fully believe the scriptures.

  3. #13
    Cardinal TT: "Do you believe getting educated in a higher learning, academic college helped develop you spiritually. The reason I ask is that some christian students end up atheist or agnostic by going to these liberal educational colleges. Many of them water down the gospel message and become liberal in theology."

    Your point is well taken and I'd be very careful about whom I recommended to attend my Alma Maters, Princeton and Harvard. I went to Princeton, planning to use it as a springboard for doctoral studies, and for that purpose, Princeton was ideal. Most evangelicals live lives carefully insulated from the major problems of biblical origins and controversial issues. So when they are finally exposed to the compelling case for Higher Criticism, their faith can easily be shattered or watered down. But others, like myself, found my faith strengthened by this challenge. So what's the difference? A believer really needs to know that he's called to study in a place like Princeton and needs to know exactly what he is getting into. But consider these 2 cases in point that show how God works:

    (a) A janitor who attended my UMC church expressed an interest in seminary. As an alumni, I seemed to have some clout at Princeton. So I wrote him a reference letter and he [a married father of 3] got an $80,000 scholarship that removed the financial burden of 3 years of study. Evangelical seminaries are far less financially generous in my experience and affordability is an issue for many wannabe seminarians. This janitor was also given a scholarship to participate in a epic archaeological dig at Bethsaida in Israel and is now a successful UMC pastor in the Florida panhandle. Like me, he was raised Pentecostal.

    (b) Here's an amazing testimony of divine providence involving Princeton. As a young boy going door-to-door at Halloween, I came to a house full of candles and was overwhelmed by God's presence. God told me that I would play an important role in the life of A, a young boy who lived there. Well, in my senior year of college, A approached me and asked me to tutor him. He had flunked out of high school, but had recently gotten saved and had been admitted to college in a "mature student program," but was again flunking out. I equipped him with a 500 word power vocabulary and insisted that he use these words wherever possible in future college papers. He did so, received his first ever A, and graduated from college. I introduced him to the gal that became his wife and left Winnipeg, winding up at Princeton a few years later. In a bizarre twist, the director of admissions at Princeton asked me to tutor him in Greek! After a few lessons, he raised the question of payment. At once, God popped into my mind a request to admit this friend I'd tutored in Winnipeg. I told the admissions director that most of A's grades were lousy, but that I thought he'd matured enough to succeed at Princeton. So my wish was granted. This academically challenged friend then won the Master's senior thesis $1,000 prize at Princeton, went on to get his PhD at St. Andrews in Scotland in New Testament, has since had a successful career as an evangelical seminary professor, and has authored several books. So that's a pretty compelling illustration of why God wanted both of us to attend Princeton!

    "Did these academic studies help you get you closer to God and learn to walk with the Holy Spirit?"

    Princeton created some great battles with doubt, but also was the setting for some of my most powerful and treasured experiences of guidance from the Holy Spirit. See my ongoing testimony for details. If you want to be a pastor and can handle it, I'd strongly urge you to attend a good seminary rather than a Bible college. Yes, you are more likely to endure extended spiritual arid spells in seminary than at Bible college, but a good pastor needs to know Hebrew and Greek and needs to be able to read good academic commentaries that are often too difficult for a Bible college student to read. In other words, seminary will likely better prepare you to be used by God than Bible school, though there are many exceptions. I would now recommend Asbury Seminary over Fuller and Princeton for evangelicals wanting to become pastors. I say this because of the excellent feedback I've gotten from Asbury grads in recent years about how well Asbury prepared them for the ministry.

    TT: "I'm not against trained christian theology but prefer a college that is dedicated to the gospel message and fully believe the scriptures."

    In response, I can only speak for myself. After my BA in Canada, I attended Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, which is reputedly the best and most academically competent seminary in the USA. [Famed pastor/ author John Piper was a fellow student.] l treasure the evangelical fellowship there, but got disillusioned with much of the course work for 2 reasons:
    (1) Fuller's courses demanded too much busy work and quizzes that left me frustrated that I wasn't learning enough of value. More of Princeton's courses provided opportunities for lengthy, if demanding research papers and that allowed me to focus in depth on burning questions that really mattered to me.

    (2) I came to Fuller with serious doubts about biblical inerrancy, despite my powerful spiritual experiences. So I took a course on the authority of Scripture from Geoffrey Bromiley (editor of Kittle's multi-volume Dictionary of the New Testament), but when I shared my honest doubts in class discussions, he and many of the students seemed to take offense that I would even ask such questions. But those questions were a major reason why I went to Fuller! I knew then that I had to transfer to Princeton, a more academic and liberal seminary with a few evangelical professors (e. g. Bruce Metzger). That transfer proved to be a great decision. Princeton had more flexibility in course selection and that gave me the chance to explore the issues that most vexed me in greater depth. The conservative students at Princeton seemed more spiritually mature, partly because of the challenges to their faith posed by more liberal professors and students. But those challenges seemed to encourage more interesting and helpful conversation over cafeteria meals.

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    Cardinal TT (12-18-2019)

  5. #14
    (8) My next experience of the "word of knowledge" was unequivocally helpful. As part of Princeton's field education, I worked as a chaplain assistant at the Newark College of Engineering. The night prior to my drive to Newark, I had a nightmare, a premonitory dream in which I knew my life would be in danger and I cried out to God for mercy. On the drive home the next day, my car died in the dark on a New Jersey freeway. I was fortunate to escape the fast-moving traffic and my car was quickly totaled by another speeding car. I called my friend Peter at my dorm and he and another friend, Mike, drove up to fetch me. Both of them had experienced nightmares of impending disaster the previous night! By these 3 dream warnings, God showed me that He was in charge and was my divine protector.

    (9) This next encounter with "the word of knowledge" is probably my 2nd most treasured spiritual highlight in my life. I had applied to Harvard's doctoral program in New Testament, Judaism, and Greco-Roman backgrounds, but a fellow seminarian told me I'd be rejected just like he was. So where would I study next after my graduation from Princeton's MDiv program in the next few months?

    As I was worrying about this, George ( a godly fellow seminarian) knocked on my door one Tuesday night to say, "Don, I've been praying for you, and the Lord has shown me that you're going to be accepted by Harvard." George was not even a friend, but he must have picked up my dream from table gossip in the seminary dining hall. In any case, his warm assurance melted my fears and was transferred to me! What a blessing he was! His word of knowledge was confirmed by the Spirit's inner witness for me. The next night was absolutely surreal!

    Another seminarian, Ann, came to my dorm room and falsely accused me of calling her to tell her that she was too emotionally unstable to be in seminary! The guy's voice must have sounded like mine. Ann had just broken up with John, a frequent dining companion of mine, and Ann probably assumed that John gossiped to me about his reasons for breaking up with her. In fact, John never said a word about this. How does one defend himself when he is blindsided by a false accusation like this? I was actually quite fond of Ann for being a great comfort when my boyhood spiritual mentor, Nick, was killed in a car accident.

    In the midst of her harangue, there was a knock on the door, and I was summoned to answer a pay phone call down the hall. It was John Strugnell of Harvard, the professor who controlled the Dead Sea Scroll translation project at that time. He congratulated me on my acceptance at Harvard with scholarship assistance. Imagine how emotionally torn I was by joyful gratitude for George's "word of knowledge" and anguish over Ann's false accusation. When I returned to my room, Ann asked me, "Who was that?" perhaps thinking that John had called to tip me off about her accusation. She looked very puzzled when I shared my joy at just having being admitted to Harvard's doctoral program. Then she asked me, "Are you all right? You're right palm is streaming blood onto your pants an the floor!" I felt no pain, but I nearly freaked out when I saw all that blood! This is the first and only time I have experience the stigmata. Ann seemed to take the combination of this bleeding and the timing of my great news as a sign of my innocence, and so, she hastily left. I'm so grateful that God orchestrated these coincidences to vindicate me, encourage me, and let me know that His guiding hand was on my life. My only regret is that I can't recall tracking George down to let him know how grateful I was for his effective prayer support.

  6. #15
    UMC - United Methodist Church
    Had to do online search as they are not in Australia. We once had the Methodists but they joined with other evangelicals and became the Uniting Church which is liberal.

    Did the UMC allow you to operate the gifts of the Spirit from the pulpit?

  7. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal TT View Post
    UMC - United Methodist Church
    Had to do online search as they are not in Australia. We once had the Methodists but they joined with other evangelicals and became the Uniting Church which is liberal.

    Did the UMC allow you to operate the gifts of the Spirit from the pulpit?
    Well, I never asked for my superintendent's permission to do so; and when I exercised "the word of knowledge" from the pulpit, I never explained what I was doing because I preferred that my congregations see for themselves how these words of knowledge came true. Stay tuned because, as I share more and more of my testimony, I will give examples of doing so. The UMC was more concerned about my public opposition to their support of gay marriage and gay ordination. The liberals have now lost this battle decisively at our quadrennial General Conference, largely due to revival fires burning in African United Methodism and the resulting upsurge in memberships which entitles them to many more voting delegates. But in 2020 many liberal American UMC pastors will put up a bloody fight in a futile effort to overturn the prevailing UMC consensus on this question and ugly divisions and schisms will result, greatly damaging our public image and the effectiveness of our witness in the USA. The UMC is the 2nd largest Protestant denomination in the USA. Only the Southern Baptist denomination and the Roman Catholics are larger in the USA.

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    Colonel (12-18-2019)

  9. #17
    (10) My next experience of "the word of knowledge" happened when I was a Theology professor at a Catholic university in New York state. I had just finished my 4-course teaching load and was exhausted. So I began to think about a much needed vacation. But that Friday night I became obsessed with the thought that someone was about to die and that death would affect my life and change my plans. I tried hard to put this depressing thought out of my mind, but the more I tried, the stronger it got! By Saturday I began to fear that someone in my immediate family would die. On Monday morning I decided to ignore this premonition by going out for breakfast to contemplate my vacation plans. But as I walked to my front door, an inner voice shouted, "Sit down! You are about to hear about the death!"

    The moment I sat down, the phone rang and it was Dr. Whelan, the chair of our summer graduate theology program. She told me that visiting Professor Corcoran had failed to show up for his summer class on Pauline Theology. Thinking he had slept in, someone knocked on his campus apartment door, but there was no answer. Alarmed, they opened the door and found him in bed, having died from diabetic shock! Dr. Whelan said the grad students were waiting in the lecture hall and that I was the only one around trained to teach that course with no notice. Would I teach it? I complied because the Lord had been preparing my heart for this news all weekend and I was richly blessed by my contact with those grad students.

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