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Father Andre Sylvestre, a priest from the Diocese of Cap Haitian, Haiti, on a recent visit to the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, spoke of the Orphanage of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which he operates. FORT WAYNE — It was in the fall of 1969, in the Haitian countryside near Borgne, that a boy sat down to write a letter to the Mother Superior of Holy Cross order, Sister Denise Thibodeau, asking for help to attend school when his parents could no longer afford to send him. In January 2010, a massive earthquake shook Haiti, destroying the homes and lives of thousands. Students at USF began by helping fund the day-to-day necessities of the orphanage, such as food and clothing, but three years ago they decided to become involved in the construction of the new orphanage. Involvement with Formula for Life and annual visits to the orphanage leave an impact not only on the orphans, but also on the students who are privileged to go.
When the new orphanage is completed a group of sisters from the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary will take up the responsibility of caring for the orphans, while Father Andre will stay as advisor and chaplain.
The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and its parishes assume no responsibility for, nor do they necessarily endorse, these websites, their content, or their sponsoring organizations. A few years back my wife and I had the opportunity to have a small group meeting where many gemstones appeared supernaturally.  A few years later, after holding some meetings hosting a minister with this manifestation, we began to have this happen in our home as well!  The many questions we got about this prompted me to write a book titled Gemstones from Heaven, but more importantly it made me really look at the manifestation and consider what God is up to. Unfortunately, as I research what God is doing in our day I come across too many Christians sitting around criticizing and condemning their brothers and sisters in Christ instead of building them up. On the one hand, there are the charismatic-leaning Christians who believe that supernatural giftings [Greek: kharisma] of the Holy Spirit as described in I Corinthians 12 and other places are still an important and valid part of the Christian life today . On the other hand, there are the cessationist-leaning Christians who tend to believe that after the canon of scripture was sealed God no longer needed to endow his church with miraculous supernatural giftings — that those giftings of the Holy Spirit have ceased to be a part of Christian life today.
Many cessationists are dedicated to protecting the Bible’s authority in the Christian’s life and are anxious to keep people from being misled by miracle working teachers who might lead people into false doctrine. Some cessationists spend much time trying to cast doubt on miracles and when the miracles are convincing they argue that the source of the miracle-working power is demonic.
I know that these people – who consider themselves to be apologists for the faith – sincerely believe that the charismatic Christians are in error.
Condemning and criticizing brothers and sisters in the faith does not display God’s love in our lives. Furthermore, loving one another means that when any of our brothers or sisters – even one of our pastors or leaders of the faith – are caught in a sin we should not cast stones but we should seek true restoration for that person (Galations 6:1). Having said that, let me shed some light on these two dominant perspectives found in Christianity. The cessationist might complain that charismatics allow for additional revelations besides the Bible. There is a fundamental difference in the way charismatics and cessationists approach the Bible.
For charismatics it is not enough to know the stories and the truths of the Bible – they want to also live like the heroes of the faith, whom they see as biblical examples of what our relationship with God can be like. Meanwhile some Christians (especially cessationists) treat the Bible as more of a history book that documents some unchanging truths. The 72 disciples found in the Bible who went out and healed people and cast out demons in Jesus’ name are not seen by cessationists as a model for today’s Christians. Some even go so far as to take scriptures out of context in an attempt to prove that these modern-day practicing Christians are illegitimate. Whether cessationist-leaning OR charismatic-leaning Christians, believers nearly always have God inside a box. For example, these Christians see people miraculously receiving gold fillings in their teeth and say that it couldn’t have been from God since that particular miracle was never recorded in the Bible. Ironically this idea that God can only do the things that were written about in the canon of scripture is not taught anywhere in the Bible.
The scriptures were never intended to exhaustively reveal everything that our all-powerful, eternal God has done and will do. This verse of scripture clearly indicates that the Bible is not intended to tell us everything that God has done. Also, notice that in John 14:12 Jesus says that his followers will do even greater things than he ever did during his ministry. Sadly, many Christians are experts in Biblical scholarship and know all the things in the Bible but when God does something in their lives they miss it because it doesn’t fit into their framework. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were very well studied scholars of scripture but they misunderstood what God was doing in their own day. Let us discern correctly the moves of God in our day and be careful to not miss out on what God is doing now. We are commanded in scripture to be on guard against false teachings and are warned that just because miracles are performed does not necessarily mean the teacher is from God or is speaking the truth. But don’t those very same pages in the Bible tell us that anyone who believes in Jesus will do the miracles that Jesus did and even greater ones? In their eagerness to avoid being misled, some Christians tend to label every supernatural miracle as being a counterfeit miracle. But, please keep in mind that for there to be a counterfeit there must also be the real thing that the counterfeit is modeled after. Satan, on the other hand, can steal what God created, he can kill what God created, and he can destroy what God created (John 10:10).
Now, in regards to discerning the current moves of God, the Bible gives us some clear instructions. Furthermore, in I John 4 we are told that we can know if a spirit (and incidentally a prophet) is from God or not by whether the spirit honors Jesus for who he really is or not.
Also remember what Jesus said when he was accused of doing miracles by the power of demons. From this teaching we can learn if a movement is from God or from Satan by determining which side is taking a hit from the movement.
Jesus also warns us in this passage not to blaspheme the movement of God’s Spirit by giving Satan credit for what God is doing.
Often I hear my brothers and sisters giving credit to Satan’s minions for signs and wonders that are causing thousands of people to wholeheartedly give their lives to Jesus. And as we have already discussed, we can discern whether a teaching or revelation is from God by going back to scripture to check if the teaching or revelation is consistent with scripture.
Now, let’s take a look at a particular Student Awakening that occurred on a campus several years ago.
There is a man in Florida named Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda who claims to be the modern-day manifestation of Jesus Christ. Examine scripture to see if a movement or a message clearly contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ and the early apostles or not. Jose Miranda, mentioned above, tries to confuse people by quoting from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians where it says “everything is permissible.” He takes these words out of context to scripturally support his teaching that there is no sin.
We can also see that Jose’s claims directly contradict Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24: “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. I love all of my brothers and sisters in Christ and plead with each one of you to be slow to condemn the men and women who are trying to serve God. The standard for our unity is the unity between the Son and the Father in the holy trinity. A tornado is seen growing in strength and coming toward a group of Christians in the Philippines.
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Not only do they give me money for construction, but they also give affection to the kids during their annual visit,” Father Andre says of the students who visit the orphanage each year and dedicate their time and effort to fundraising.
She was upset that God wouldn’t give her a big rainbow-colored stone like she had asked him. This saddens me and I pray that the body of believers will come to love one another as Jesus desired. The charismatics believe that God is still speaking to his children and that God has empowered us to supernaturally do his work in the earth. These brothers and sisters in Christ explain that those giftings were only meant to confirm the word of God as preached by the apostles and now that we have the full canon of scriptures there is no need for revelation of God’s truth and there is no need to confirm the revelation of God’s truth with signs and wonders.
They fear that people may trust the miracles as evidence of the teacher’s authority instead of relying on the Bible for that authority in a Christian’s life. They also like to discredit charismatic Christian men and women whose ministries are supernaturally empowered. I pray that this article will help bring a better understanding of who the charismatics are and why they value the supernatural, miraculous power of God in their lives.  I also pray that all Christians – whether cessationist-leaning or charismatic-leaning – will give themselves over to the great command of Jesus to love one another.
We should love all of our brothers and sisters whether we agree with their theology or not. Let us seek understanding and come to love the hearts of our brothers and sisters – whether we agree with them or not. But to be fair we should point out that, although charismatics allow for the Holy Spirit to reveal truth and give guidance, they believe that any true revelation from God will not contradict what God has already revealed in scripture. Charismatics notice that throughout the Bible people are having direct encounters with God.
They see people who experience God’s love in a personal and real way (Jesus said, “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him” John 14:21). These Christians focus on believing the truths of the Bible but have trouble letting the supernatural experiences of the Bible off the pages into their own lives.
So, when something happens outside of their God-box, they say it couldn’t have been God and must have been the Devil. They have decided that God only does the things that were specifically recorded in the Bible. Furthermore, like I said before, there is no scripture that says that God will not do a new thing or that he is limited by what has been included in the canon of scriptures. God is active and anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear and understands what God is doing has the opportunity to join God in the mighty work he is doing in our generation! Should we reject every wondrous sign and miracle and assume that all such things are from the enemy? Should we discourage Christians who are walking out spiritual truths that we are uncomfortable with? And, in fact, there may very well be counterfeit miracles as scripture clearly warns us: ‘The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. He explained in Mark 3 that there are two kingdoms at war and that we can know which kingdom is sponsoring a move by determining which kingdom is being attacked.
Can I just point out that if demons are doing those miracles that they must be the stupidest demons ever?!? The primary theme of the Student Awakening was hearts being healed and discovering the love of Jesus in a very personal, real way. Now, let’s use our discernment test on a supernatural phenomenon occurring in modern times.
These are signs and wonders putting God’s mark on people in a way that can only be explained by the supernatural. Just be careful to look at the evidence without your personal theology and biases coloring your perspective. While you are studying the scriptures, remember to be open to seeing the scriptures in a fresh light and be careful to comprehend the point of what the writer of the scripture was really trying to say.
He conveniently ignores that Paul is actually quoting other people in that verse and he ignores the many verses warning against immoral living — even in the same chapter. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. For example, imagine you are worshiping in your usual spot in your church one Sunday morning when you see a man fall to his knees and begin shaking and crying and then laughing.
We should follow the biblical discernment test outlined above so we don’t fall into the trap of the Pharisees who called the true work of God in their day the work of Satan and became guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
How many children of God have we rejected and criticized because we were judging them by our personal standards instead of following the Bible’s discernment test? He knows our hearts and understands our motives, but he wants to give us his heart and he wants his goals to be what drives us. Hear Jesus’ words: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their [the apostle’s] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. They pray in tongues to command it to leave and their prayers drive the tornado back into the sky. Later Christ told his disciples that whatever miracles he did they and other believers would also do — and they would even do greater miracles than him too. Beyonce & Bruno Mars] [Full]British rock band Coldplay headlined the halftime show of the Super Bowl 50 - which saw the Carolina Panthers go head to head with the Denver Broncos – at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Sunday night (Feb. Missy Elliott, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd & More Perform at 'The Voice USA' Season 9 Finale!Season 9 of “The Voice USA” ended last night, December 16, with finalist Jordan Smith winning. This year’s final saw finalists energetic duo Reggie 'N' Bollie and 17-year-old Louisa Johnson fight for the winner’s title.
As in every edition, the majority of performers were UK-born musicians with only a couple of North Americans appearing. She, along with the other sisters, continued to support him financially until he became a priest 33 years ago, a gift that didn’t stop with Father Andre Sylvestre. According to Father Andre, when the students arrived, they fell in love with the children, and that was the beginning of a now long-standing relationship between Formula for Life at USF and the Orphanage of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I sat her down and we talked about gratitude and appreciating the gifts of gems God was already giving us.
I believe that there is room for disagreement and alternate perspectives within the body of Christ; but what worries me is when portions of the body begin attacking other portions of the body. That means that charismatics should love even the brothers and sisters in Christ who criticize and attack our spiritual brothers and sisters.
He has never turned his back on us even though we have often let him down and fallen into sins.
In fact, charismatics teach that any true revelation from God will be supported and confirmed by scripture and will be consistent with what has already been revealed in scripture. They see frequent miracles throughout the Old and New Testaments, they see personal guidance given to God’s people by God himself (for example see Acts 18:9 where the Lord spoke encouraging words to Paul in a vision), and they see verses seeming to indicate that all believers should function in the supernatural (see the last words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel According to Mark where he says believers will drive out demons, speak in new tongues, heal the sick by laying on of hands and so forth and see Jesus’ words recorded in John 14 where he says anyone who has faith in him will do what he has been doing and even greater things).


These people in the Bible experience God’s love and healing and are set free from Satan’s kingdom of darkness.
One of the students does not get to have the experience of dissecting an animal but the other does.
What he did was meant to be a foundation for us to build upon through our faith and reliance on God’s power and the Holy Spirit imparted to us. Jesus also warned that false messiahs and false prophets will come who will perform great signs and miracles to deceive God’s chosen people (Matthew 24:24). Should we bury our heads in the pages of the Bible where we know the miracles and teachings are safe and reliable?
Should we reject anything supernatural for fear that it may come from evil spirits instead of the Holy Spirit and God’s holy angels?
So, in the case of Jesus driving out demons, it is evident that the kingdom being attacked is Satan’s kingdom which would indicate that God’s kingdom is sponsoring the attack. Why would a demon do a miracle that will cause people to stand in awe of God Almighty and to give praise to God Almighty and to commit their lives to God Almighty and to have increased faith in God Almighty?
These are very personal manifestations that tell the people to whom they occur that God is real and that God cares about them. He discourages anyone from worshiping the Jesus that most Christians worship since he believes that he is Jesus’ replacement and claims to be even better than Jesus. We can only see in the natural realm and too often we make spiritual judgments based on our five natural senses. But isn’t the Good News that we are loved and accepted by God through Christ’s finished work on the cross despite our imperfections?
Let’s put away our divisive attitudes and truly love and lift one another up in the spirit of humility and grace.
The Ben Hor-directed visually-striking music video was filmed in India – back in October last year apparently. But being totally honest, I didn’t really care for Jordan’s victory, I mainly tuned into NBC to watch the guest star performers of the grand finale episode. The boy who wrote to Sister Denise Thibodeau in 1969 is now the pastor of a small country parish in the Diocese of Cap Haitian, but more than that, he is a father to children who have none. So with the help of students participating in Formula for Life — a student group founded by Courtney Shepard during her time at the University of Saint Francis (USF) to raise funds and collect supplies — under the leadership of Dr. I still depend on occasional donations.” The pressure is also mounting to complete the new orphanage since their current residence is rented and they are required to vacate the premises by July 2016. She shifted her attitude and went to play and continue to have fun with the gems that were appearing.
His mind was completely blown as hundreds of gems appeared that day and the following few days, and it gave us a really great opportunity to speak about the love and kindness of Jesus, and with such tangible displays of that love falling in front of him, he was much more open to hear than he normally is. These attacks come from deep-rooted misunderstanding of what the other members of the body stand for and confusion regarding how we are to discern whether a movement or a miracle is from God or not. That means that cessationists should love the men and women who rely on the Holy Spirit’s power to share God’s good news with the hurting people of the world.
They shy away from modern-day Christians with gifts of healing and prophecy for fear that these modern-day events and practices might get more attention than the historical events and teachings found in the Bible. They sidestep the problem that if this verse means what they say it does then knowledge should have also ceased in the church.
They feel qualified to determine if a message or a miracle came from God or not because they know what kinds of things God does and what he says. They had a chance to be intimately familiar with God in the flesh but they totally misunderstood him and plotted his destruction. In this way, God becomes a very real, powerful being in the lives of these people instead of an abstract idea somewhere up there in heaven. Furthermore, he teaches that there is no devil, no hell, and no sin – even murder is not a sin according to this man’s teaching. So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
Isn’t it wonderful that God has chosen to use imperfect jars of clay to carry his treasures? Jesus desires that we all get along with one another and support one another just as Jesus and the Father are completely unified.
The stones have continued to appear for him on occasion, as they do with the rest of us, and he gets excited each time he finds one. My hope is that this article can bring understanding and ultimately unity to the body of Christ.
He finds the experience much different than he had imagined it to be while he was studying the textbook.
People are giving their lives over to God as they realize that He is extremely real and cares about them. He encourages his followers to put away all feelings of guilt and to enjoy every pleasure that life has to offer including gluttony, satisfying all sexual appetites, and so on.
We might think to ourselves, “That man is not being self-controlled and he is not worshiping in an orderly fashion.” In this way, we stand in judgment over that man based on our superficial understanding of what is happening. God’s ability to win souls for himself is far greater than ours, and I can’t help but feel that these gems are a representation of the value that he feels for each one of us. Meanwhile, knowledge joined with practice and experience are important to the charismatics. Each time they look in the mirror and see the gold filling they remember that God does miracles in their life and they worship him and give Him all their worries. All of us – Jesus, the Father, you, and me – share the same Spirit and should be completely unified. Look everyone!” While that stone may not appear big to some, it’s significantly larger than the stones that normally appear for us, and it was what she was asking for–mostly. He simply found that the study joined with the experience led to the fullest and most meaningful education. His followers are encouraged to demonstrate against Christian churches and whole Christian denominations because they are classified by him as false religions. She wasn’t sure why it was not multi-colored until I held it up to the sunlight and showed her the rainbows it cast on the wall. One student can parrot the explanation from the textbook and has a very pristine and orderly view of dissection.
If we saw Jesus like this man was seeing him and if we were being radically set free from the wounds of past trauma like this man, we would understand how appropriate it is to be on our knees shaking with strong emotions before the feet of the Living God who created the universe and has poured out his life on the cross to rescue us into his heavenly kingdom.
The other student benefits from the raw experience of actually dissecting a pig according to the instructions found in the textbook. The fact that signs and wonders are counterfeited tells me that the real thing is valuable. That is wimpy compared to Jesus walking on water and ascending all the way up into the clouds to return to heaven.
And of course it is valuable because the real thing points to the power and presence of God in the lives of people on earth. Every counterfeit miracle and sign and wonder demonically produced has a very real counterpart with its origins in God’s power.
Instead, if I don’t want to be deceived, I will learn how to discern if the money is real or counterfeit.




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