Gary: We hope you can join us next week as Dave and Tom resume their discussion of Occult Invasion. This is Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Coming up: answers to your questions in Contending for the Faith, and in Understanding the Scriptures, Dave and Tom will continue their discussion of God’s salvation.
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Now, Religion in the News, a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from the December 1999 issue of Charisma Magazine: “Unexplainable miracles involving gold fillings, solid gold teeth, and gold dust have reached Great Britain, focusing widespread media attention on charismatic churches in London and elsewhere. Charismatic church leader Gerald Coates, leader of the Pioneer New Church Network, has been interviewed by leading national newspapers such as The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, and The Mail.
“Pioneer Church’s first encounter with gold manifestations occurred at the group’s spring conference. Some delegates claimed they found gold dust on their hands. A few said they now had gold teeth or fillings. Chilean revivalist Miguel Escobar, who claims five of his own teeth turned to gold in 1983, ministered this summer at an event coordinated by Coates called Awake UK. Escobar believes God is sending the gold to raise faith and encourage holiness. Coates believes the gold is a sign to make us wonder. He advises those who receive gold teeth or fillings to visit their dentist. He does not yet know of any who have had their gold fillings confirmed, but adds that they effect the phenomena is having seems clear.
“Charisma analyzed samples of gold dust that appeared in meetings in the United States and Canada, and the particles proved to be plastic. Some observers theorize that the particles may be a solid form of anointing oil, but no one seems to understand what the miracle means. ‘There appears to be no function or benefit to the people other than the nearness of God,’ Coates said. ‘He gives us signs to say that we’re not on our own.’”
Tom: Dave, now, I know you’re probably thinking this isn’t biblical, but they do quote some chapter and verses to kind of support this. One is John:20:30: “Jesus did many other signs that are not written in this book.” So there’s one, and then Psalm:81:10: “Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.” So…
Dave: Yeah, Tom, of course there in Psalm 80 he’s talking about “with the finest of wheat will I satisfy thee.” He’s talking about feeding them, not filling their teeth. It’s tragic. “Many other miracles…” I don’t believe this is a miracle from God. He doesn’t give you plastic, and if He was going to… If this were a miracle from God, why wouldn’t He give you a new tooth? Why would He give you a gold filling? It doesn’t make sense. If this were really gold dust, why don’t they scrape it up together and pay off the mortgage and whatever?
But, Tom, it gets back to – this is the other side of what we’ve been talking about. We’ve been talking about mysticism. Now this is physical manifestations bringing me to God, and you don’t come to God that way. God is a Spirit, and “He dwells in a light that no man can approach unto. No one has seen him,” and so forth. When Jesus said, for example, “If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink,” what’s He talking about? He’s not talking about physical drinking, He’s talking about – or, “You must eat my flesh and drink my blood” – He’s talking about feeding upon the Word of God. He’s talking about truth. It wouldn’t help if I took some water and I drank it, and I say, “Oh, this is why I’m drinking of Jesus.” In fact, that would lead me astray. So this supposed manifestation of gold fillings and gold dust, this is not God, this is not bringing people closer to God. If I need that sort of thing, I must not have a real relationship with God. That’s the tragedy of this. So now people are focusing on some physical manifestation or phenomenon, and that’s not the way to get to know God, who is Spirit, but only through His Word.
Tom: Dave, I really appreciate what you’re saying. But on the other hand, you know, many of these individuals are con artists. This is rip-off stuff. I’ll give you a couple examples: this isn’t new, as we’ve seen the whole laughing revival was not something new. These things come around and come around and come around. You forget about them, then they’re revived. That’s the only revival going here is a revival of a new con. Franklin Hall, who you know about, back in the ‘50s – late ‘40s, early ‘50s – he was into this. There were others who promoted this gold dust kind of thing. To his credit, although I don’t agree with probably anything that goes on at the Toronto – well, it used to be the Vineyard, but the Toronto Fellowship…
Tom: …at the airport in Canada – they had a lady who was from South America who was manifesting all of this. She came in as a speaker/preacher, whatever, and they had the material analyzed and it was plastic, and he dismissed her. So I give him credit for that, but he still buys the whole nine yards of these manifestations, which are – you know, I mentioned it’s a con. There’s never been any documentation, there’s never been any scientific support for these things. Those who claim – just one other thing – those who claim that their fillings have turned to gold, some say, “Well, it lasts a couple of weeks, and then it kind of goes away, and the amalgam now is shinier than it was before.” This is a wonderful move of God in that, right?
Dave: What’s the point? Tom, it’s not the con artists that I am concerned about, because we’re probably not going to reach them, but it’s these dear people who are so sincere and who are looking for some sign. Jesus said, “A disobedient and rebellious generation seeketh after a sign.” This is what the unbelievers all kept saying: “Lord, show us a sign.” You know, in John 6, He’s just fed the multitudes, He’s healed them, and they pursue Him to the other side of the lake, and then again they say, “What sign dost thou show us?” Their stomachs were growling, it was lunchtime, you know, again, and they said, “Moses gave us bread from heaven. What are you going to do for us again?” So these signs are really turning us from the real truth of God’s Word, from a real relationship with God, and they’re putting us – now my faith is going to be in some kind of gold that turns out to be plastic! My faith is going to be in some kind of a feeling that I get, or a jerking that I get, or a laughter that overwhelms me – no! It’s taking people away from God! That’s not what we need. We need to know Him. We need to know His Word.
Tom: Right. Dave, Proverbs:8:10: “Receive my instruction and not silver, and knowledge,” just as you’ve been saying, “and knowledge rather than choice gold.” That’s what God wants: to know Him. He wants us to know Him.