The Difference Between Omnipresence and Manifest Presence

Introduction Dr. Eugene Stock has said, “When I was a boy, I read a story which showed me the different ways in which we can be sure that this great library of Sacred Books, which we call the Bible, is really the Word of God, His Revelation to mankind. The writer of the story had been explaining three different kinds of evidence – the Historical, the Internal, and the Experimental. Then he told how he once sent boy to the chemist’s to get some phosphorous. The boy brought back a little packet; was it phosphorous. The boy reported that he went to the shop and to his shelves, took some kind of stuff from a jar, put it in the little packet, and gave it to him, and that he had brought it straight back. That was the historical evidence that the packet had phosphorous and smelled like phosphorous. That was the “constitute irrefragable proof that the Bible is the Word of God.” Dr. W. Graham Scroggie’s very well organized apologetic consults external, internal and experimental evidence to support his premise. The history, prophecies, content, testimony, unity and effect of the Scriptures together with the witness and effect of the Scriptures together with the experience of God's manifest presence from theory and theological view proved that the Christians and Christianity provide inclusive attestation to the source and infallible inspired Word of God. An interesting, systematic approach to apologetics, in our generation. Historical External Evidence We need to distinguish rightly between God’s “omnipresence” and His “manifest presence”. God is everywhere; there is no place where God is not. But sometimes, for some special purpose, God makes His presence felt by Believers. Yet the way in which this is experienced may vary according to the need of the hour. Knowing Him is not enough but if God manifest Himself that hour that’s more than enough. When King Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priest could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD upon the house…” That’s the meaning of manifest Presence of God (2 Chronicles 7: 1-3 KJV). We could choose the two modes whether just knowing it or experiencing His move. It is true that God sometimes makes His presence felt by an entire group of believers so that they can all say in total agreement that “God is present” or “God was present”. They do not mean that God is or was not present at other times, but only that God’s presence was manifested on that occasion in so obvious a way that no one could deny it. The relationship between God’s sovereignty and the spiritual state of the people in the gathering is not easy to fathom. It seems to vary from time to time. Additionally, the vehicle for the presence of God can vary. It can be related to the desire of the people, or it can be the result of an anointed ministry. Or it can be entirely owing to the sovereignty of God: He wants to move in that way for some purpose known only to Him and does so before anyone can even search his or her heart. There are, however, other modes of God’s presence. Individuals in meetings can testify as to how they felt God’s presence, when others do not. The reasons for this also vary. It can be to do with the spiritual discernment of individuals or it can be that God has something particular to indicate to certain people, if only to encourage them. Then there are times when an individual is targeted by God in a meeting which everyone else agrees clearly lacked a universal sense of God’s presence. As such variations can occur within the same fellowships from week to week, it seems to me unhelpful to reduce God’s presence to two modes, Of course, we should observe how God is working and seek to get as right with Him as we can be so that we are not a personal hindrance to the work of God. Of course, it is good for us to pray that God will be present in as obvious a way as possible. But none of these things can guarantee God’s obvious presence, although there is often a positive relationship between the two but its God’s option not of us. And then I'm not saying that if you don't feel the Lord is moving or felt the obvious phenomenon He is not present. Because we cannot program God or box Him. We are finite and God is infinite, He in varied ways that we cannot see. But usually He confirmed of what is written in His Word. The acts of the prophets and the apostles of Jesus was a confirmation of

His Word, go and preach the word and the signs shall follows, heal the sick and raise the dead. Therefore we felt His presence or not the fact is God is present anywhere in this planet earth. Most Christians like dramatic spiritual experiences and this is natural because God made us with a spiritual appetite. The problem is that, like the rest of us, our spirits are fallen. It is, therefore, essential that our spiritual desires be renewed, like anything else in our lives. We need to ensure that what we are pursuing is truly from God and also a part of God’s agenda for our lives. The possibility of spiritual derailment is ever present and we often lack discernment where we need it most. Internal Evidence or Experimental Evidence In 1993. I was seeking for God's guidance and direction for the next level of ministry that the Lord has entrusted to me. Within 21 days of praying and fasting the Lord spoke to me in a vision- "to build the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ as a new wineskin; and to bring revival in his body and to win the lost". As stated in Matthew 16:18 ..."Upon this rock I will build my Church..." I started with five committed people, who captured the heart of the Lord, to do the ministry without reservation. After a long time of searching souls and seeking God's face, it was almost fifteen years (15) of waiting upon the Lord. The Lord has been so good! He visited the Church with unusual phenomenon that I never experienced before! The presence of the Lord filled the tent of meeting like a cloud and fire that covered the church. Nobody could stand the weight of God's glory during the worship service; it was more of Him and less of man's service. There was a Spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit and with Fire that cleansed the heart of God's people to get right with God; the spirit of fear, reverence and awareness of God's presence was visible. It was a remarkable event that brought big impact and shaped the lives of God's people into the right concept of what is a genuine Christianity and ministry is all about; not the products of man's way methods and strategies but God's own prescribe way. After a year, the Lord has blessed us so much Spiritually and financially as a rource of inspiration to win more lost sinners to Christ and also to help the body of Christ. We planted more churches and conducted crusades and revival conferences in the body of Christ in almost every place; from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. With God's grace and direction, the ministry right now has been extended in Seoul, South Korea, for reaching out the migrant Filipino workers, who doesn't know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior and also to work with the body of Christ for unity as the Lord leads us to do. Autobiography I am Bishop Danilo O. Bantilan, the founding President of Church of Christ Brings Revival, International, Inc., and, recently, the founding President of Asian Revival College of Theology, Inc., located at 3f Elipe Building, Elipe Park Carmen Cagayan de Oro City 9000, Philippines I finished my M.Div. in 1997., Doctor in Theology Theology (Th.D.) 2008., Doctor in Relegious Education (DRE) in progress Website: pttp//www.arcteduc7.com Pttp//www.ccbrii.com Email add: arcteduc1@gmail.com