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Where is God?

Imagine a world in which one in a hundred Christians ministered to others like Jesus and the apostles did about 2,000 years ago. In this daydream, truth and miracles flow daily from God through believers, into towns and cities. The hopeful come from near and far. Social media is abuzz with texts, photos, and videos of healings and all sorts of encounters with God. Reporters camp outside churches to interview those touched by God. News channels are flooded. Sunday services are inadequate—this happens seven days a week, all day long, in homes and other available venues. Unbridled expressions of divine goodness spill into the streets. The modern world witnesses God’s love and power.

According to Scripture, it should all be possible, at least to some significant degree. Based on what I’ve witnessed, it shouldn’t just be a daydream. According to the daily lives of most people on Earth, however, it’s not happening. According to the daily news, it’s nowhere to be seen.

We’ve heard it said that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. If they are skeptics like me, other people also scan for evidence to see if what the Bible says is actually true today. Many don’t see evidence of God, and they first want to see before they believe. Some Christians answer that you must first believe before you get to see. What did Jesus say? Rather, what did Jesus do?

Jesus displayed God to the public through miracle after miracle. Witnesses wrote about it, and years later we read it in the Bible.

After Jesus, God performed miracles through the apostles, also recorded in the Bible. Witnessing such divine miracles would have satisfied many skeptics and freethinkers of that time. It certainly satisfied the Roman Centurion whom Jesus commended for having the greatest faith in all of Israel. That was roughly 2,000 years ago. What has happened since then? More to the point, what’s happening today?

Is God real? Is God’s divine power real? Did miracles take place or is the Bible a book of myths? Can we interpret the Bible literally, or just figuratively? Can today’s believers perform miracles like the apostles of old? If God is real, then where is He?

Some people voice their doubts, while others maintain only tentative beliefs in biblical accounts. Lacking solid evidence, many Christians flounder, ex-Christians proliferate, and unbelievers remain secure in their doubt.

Would doubters still doubt if they themselves witnessed God healing people? Everywhere people watch, looking for answers, seeking signs of higher life and traces of a benevolent, almighty God. What do they find, or rather, what are they shown? Very little to zero evidence of God seems to exist. Nature may be their only other proof—if they believe God created it. Troubling world news prompts doubtful questions like: “With so much pain and suffering in the world, how can there be a God?”

Some Christians explain the lack of miracles with ‘cessationism,’ which postulates divine miracles ceased centuries ago, sometime around AD 100. They say miracles served as signs from God to verify the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth, during the time He walked on Earth. Regarding the apostles performing miracles, people argue it verified their divine callings at that time in history. They claim miracles ended after the last apostle’s death.

Since my youth, I’ve been delighted by this scripture stating that miracles are for all believers. Jesus said:

Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father.

John 14:12 — World English Bible

The Son of God expects Christian believers to do the miraculous works He did. Was there a time limit on what He said? If so, why didn’t He say so? Did God’s Son lie to us? From repeated personal experience, I attest Jesus spoke true for both then and now.

Invalidating cessationism is simple.

Step 1: Ignore dubious interpretations of Scripture.

Step 2: Find bona fide miracles in the present day, preferably first-hand.

My life bears witness: miracles never ceased, and God dispenses His power out of love for people, most especially to those who seek Him and believe what He tells them.

As first-hand witness of God’s divine power, I substantiate the veracity of biblical Scriptures. This book contains proof that cessationism is a false idea. Whether others will believe my proof is another matter; however, to me it has been proven over and over—without doubt—that God actually exists and the Bible is literally true.

According to the apostle John, if they recorded all Jesus’ miracles, the world couldn’t contain so many books (John 21:25). If John possessed limited understanding of world geography, that’s still many miracles. Even if they wrote larger text on thicker paper in thinner books, those are miracles aplenty. If John’s statement was simply hyperbole emphasizing the sheer volume of Jesus’ work, those are boatloads of miracles.

Some argue that Jesus had divine power; He was God, hence the miracles. However, the apostles also performed miracles, just like Jesus said believers would. Were they God? Did they have divine power which we somehow don’t?

According to the Bible, God worked through His Son (John 5:19) and through ordinary people like the apostles—even through prior sinners and ex-persecutors of God’s people. It greatly comforts and inspires me to know that the apostles were quite ordinary: regular people with jobs, businesses, and everyday responsibilities; children to raise, a spouse to love . . . like me, and perhaps like you.

Miracles were commonplace in New Testament accounts. So, what’s going on today? If God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, then where is He? Acknowledging that He is the same God, I think we should rather ask: “Where are the believers?”

If Christians are generally known as believers—implying the quality of belief Jesus referred to in John 14:12—then, by my estimation, the world should currently be awash in divine miracles as imagined in this chapter’s opening. Our understanding of the term “believer” is perhaps too general when accounting for the current shortage of New Testament-type miracles. Shouldn’t we consider that the omnipotent God has a superior definition of “believe” in mind? Shouldn’t we strive to live by His definitions and standards?

Many believe in Jesus Christ as Savior. However, that’s not all Jesus meant when He said in Mark 16 verse 17: “These signs will accompany those who believe.” Miracles performed through believers involve more than general belief and hopeful prayers lifted to God. No powerful incantations or prayer formulas exist. Flippant and unauthorized use of “in Jesus’ name” after prayer is futile. Miracles require specific faith for specific situations, and faith comes from hearing the Word God specifically speaks into the situation. What’s needed is a willing vessel through which God may perform, someone to bridge the gap between spirit and physical realm.

Scripture and God’s Spirit reveals all to those who seek.

Miracles abound for believers operating under express divine authority. Those who don’t actively take up their position in Christ to approach God and acquire His authority for a situation, will generally not be first-hand witnesses of divine miracles. Having said that, at times God performs miracles regardless of people; after all, He is sovereign.

I’ve spent enough time in different churches to know that most refrain from preaching certain biblical topics and neglect teaching crucial spiritual skills. I discovered what Jesus called “leaven,” errors which prevent spiritual potency. This also applies to some churches that pride themselves on being “true to Scripture.” Being true to Scripture doesn’t automatically impart interpretations and teachings true to God’s original intent. What I gleaned from church sermons may have helped my early spiritual walk but utterly failed to mature it.

Before I’m accused of finger-pointing, know that the finger was first pointed at me. I read the Scriptures and asked myself: “Paul, are you the kind of believer Jesus spoke about?”

I wanted to be, but I found myself doubting. Instead, I was one of the “believers” looking at a crumbling world asking “where’s God?”

My life lacked signs and wonders. I called myself a believer, but what did God say of me? Something was amiss. True to the meaning of my first name, Paul, my faith was small. No matter how much I desired divine providence, my understanding was lacking. My name also means humble, and that’s how I went before God; setting myself apart to seek His divine guidance with a passion.

I was determined to rid myself of the plank in my own eye, even if it turned out to be a whole lumberyard of planks.

I don’t worship the Bible, nor is church my religion. I worship the Living God, and being in His presence—communing with Him—is my religion. No one else can live my life for me. Even though God called me to Himself, this is my heart, my mind, my soul, and my spirit. It is me who opens the door to have my passions kindled. I desire it stoked hot and bright with truth and love, and never ever having this divine fire extinguished. Who did I choose as my stoker? Some inspirational individuals, both men and women, have fanned my flames over the years, but years ago I went to God Himself, who constantly works His great bellows to breathe a mighty wind into my open furnace.

Dying with regrets of deception-induced-failure is not on my bucket list, self-deception least of all. I desire a full and meaningful life of truth. Can I blame erroneous teachers if I lapped what they dished up? Of course, someone should ask why they dish that up. Are they deceived themselves? Are they afraid of speaking the whole truth regardless of consequences? Are they playing it safe to protect their income? Or do preachers hit ceilings imposed by their teachers? I feel that spiritual tutors should push for Godlike excellence, not serve only what’s palatable. One surefire way is to make Jesus Christ our role model. We should then see the same results the apostles enjoyed.

Even if not aiming to heal others, many Christians at least need their faith affirmed. What examples are they shown?

Failing to discover God’s power for themselves, some pastors discreetly omit preaching essential portions of Scripture that they personally don’t believe in. Perhaps they fear having their spiritual impotence found out. Flocks go astray through their teachers’ cherry-picking, half-truths, and scripture-twisting. I’ve had conversations with pastors that left me amazed how they essentially censor verses and chapters of Scripture, even records spoken by Jesus Himself. I fully admit not all ministers are false or impotent; however, discernment among the sheep is essential. Ideally, the sheep should seek out the Good Shepherd for themselves.

I speak about churches from decades of personal experience; some of it a great blessing, some of it withered, and some poisonous. Some of them places of true worship, and others places of profit. As Jesus noted, it just takes a little leaven to sour the whole lump. When we desire to please God, isn’t it paramount to personally identify and remove even the slightest leaven? Thus, I find it most prudent to be tutored by God Himself.

During childhood, my Sunday school teachers extolled many biblical characters. As I matured, church sermons inspired but failed to precisely instruct how to be such a man of God. After many fruitless years, a daring strategy emerged in my mind: those esteemed persons in the Bible went directly to God and so would I. Following scriptural advice, I sought private tutoring by God’s Holy Spirit. That was about thirty years ago . . . and what astonishing consequences!

As for you, the anointing which you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need for anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in Him.

1 John 2:27 — World English Bible

Of the various ways God intimately guides His people, one is through a quiet inner voice. Moses, Samuel, David, Abraham, the apostles, and many others heard God speak. Jesus taught about this Himself.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

John 10:27 — Webster’s 1833 Revision

In my writing, I often relate some of what God spoke to me. Even if you don’t believe God speaks to people, for the sake of better understanding my testimonies please accept that hearing God is possible—exactly as recounted in both Old and New Testaments (1 Samuel 3, 1 Kings 19:9-13, John 16:13-15, Mathew 13:18-23, Mark 4:14-20, John 10: 3-5+8+27). To somehow think I made things up, imagined it, or am somehow deluded, simply echoes your own doubts about this marvelous Biblical phenomenon, which is understandable. If you live with tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), or know someone who does, then you may know that people experience this sound without there being an actual sound; it’s a signal in the brain perceived as sound. Hearing God is much like this, although the sound is an actual voice, very much like the words of your own thoughts, but discernibly not your own. The exact words, their tone, and volume are also heard. Unlike tinnitus, God does not produce an unwelcome, incessant noise in my head, but maintains peace and calm, respecting the sovereignty He gave me over my mind and body; I’m not His robot, but His child, and His Son and Holy Spirit the most welcome guests dwelling inside my temple.

I encourage Christians to become true believers in God—followers of Jesus Christ and not of men. I don’t point a finger without God having pointed His at me first. I’m not judging, but instead discerning fruit and encouraging fruitfulness as instructed in the Bible.

Leaders and teachers are held to great accountability by God. If they won’t bear spiritual fruit, what’s to prevent God from lavishing His divine gifts upon anyone else who truly believes? After all, God Himself doesn’t ordain according to the structures of men. He’s known to make saints of criminals and kings of shepherd boys.

How does one write about a quarter century of walking and talking with our Creator? I don’t have a full revelation (who on Earth does?), but I share what I believe is most valuable. From a personal perspective, there aren’t apt words to describe how beautiful, loving, and amazing God and His kingdom are. Grand superlatives don’t suffice. Regarding those unforgettable times in God’s magnificent presence . . . written words cannot accurately convey the orchestra of emotions which crescendo and climax deep within my soul! It’s best to experience God in person and walk in His kingdom yourself. It’s an intimate affair, yielding myriad sublime satisfactions which far surpass this material realm.

Would you rather stay at home reading travel books if you could be an adventurer yourself? I’m grateful for travelers who share reports of their expeditions; they inspire me to experience those places for myself. Likewise, you get web surfers and real surfers, desk divers and real divers. Get out there, sand between your toes, engaging cool, powerful forces to be respected—experience the joys and thrills of it in person.

Climb that mountain yourself! Yes, it’s a tough challenge, requiring self-sacrifice, much patient training, self-discipline, and preparation.

I hope you’ll feel the same about adventuring into the Kingdom of Heaven after reading this book. World travel can be expensive, but walking with God is free, gratis, paid for. That said, it’s a journey which requires personal surrender unto God and His way of doing things. However, take heart, it comes with guaranteed divine assistance in the form of God’s Holy Spirit and His angels.

The only oft-missing ingredient is us: our will, our repentance for sins, our forgiveness of others, our time, our passion for Christ, and our desire to please God.

Not my will, but Your will be done!

If God exists, surely someone must present evidence. I followed the map, found boundless treasure, and now feel utterly compelled to point you there. It would be wicked not to.

Carl Sagan, famous American astronomer, planetary scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, and author, eloquently stated what many think. He used logic to determine God cannot be proved or disproved, which is the agnostic view, something atheists seem to find appealing and many Christians find disturbingly close to their reality. Sagan invited the submission of evidence for God, making it a pity he passed away in 1996, over two decades before this book was published. To me it’s obvious that Sagan applied his logic to merely theorize about God, instead of applying ‘scientific method’ to properly search for the Creator God who can in fact be discerned and proven. I wonder if my writing would measure up to Sagan’s Standard: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

This book is not a research paper, and my findings were made by an imperfect instrument—myself. I’m not saying that as an excuse. Although I’m not a scientist, and my method not strictly scientific, it contains extraordinary claims and evidence which, I believe, should not be ignored, especially not by open-minded truth seekers.

I sought God, not where He wasn’t but where He was, and now invite you to review my evidence that God has indeed been found.

“Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

Matthew 7:7-11 — World English Bible