Tales From the East: Ringing Chimes
This piece is a classic. It was witnessed by over a thousand members of the congregation and I still have an audio record of the phenomenon. All our messages are recorded live on audio cassettes, CDs and VCDs. I still have a copy of the audio cassette though I can't recall anymore which one it is among my pile of 100 over cassettes at home. I have seen the recorded video which was played to us the following week. I would have a hard time believing if I had not seen the video for myself. It happened in Nov 2000 during one of our mid-week service. During those days I attend mid-week services on a regular basis. Unfortunately I missed that particular day or I would have a first hand account to relate to you now.
The service was going full swing that evening. Pastor was climaxing toward the heart of the message. My pastor is a man who preaches with deep conviction and passion. He gives 101% of himself at every service. Here is a man who not only believe what he preaches but also gets very excited about it every time. The title of the message that night was, Aleph-Tav: Jesus' signature in the Bible. It was a very interesting study of where the spirit of God has hidden Jesus' "signature" in strategic places in the Bible and why it was where it was. When he came to Acts 13:38-39,
"...therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man, is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses."
the chimes rang by itself in full view of the entire congregation! Pastor was clearly stunned but continued to paced the floor. Back and forth, back and forth, looking at those chimes. Dumbstruck.
"Look at that.....look at that....", he said when he finally found his voice.
The chimes rang for several seconds before it fades away. Everyone and everything was in total silence though they erupted with applause soon after. All the musical instruments were on the stage and are clearly visible to the whole congregation. The chimes are suspended from a metal stand next to the drums. It wasn't even near the curtains. There wasn't a single soul on the platform, not even the pastor. He never preaches from the platform. It's always on the floor. The bizarre thing is that the chimes played in such an orderly fashion, that you have no choice but to rule out any sudden gush of wind or whatever "accidents" you can think of. I replayed it several times on audio. There is no way anyone can explain it. It was a full house that evening as is the usual case. Which means more than 1000 people witnessed it with their own eyes. Pastor who was rather nervous the rest of the sermon, knowing he was handling holy things, broke out in prayer mid-way.
As you can predict, words spread like wild fire among the Christian community. People are curious. Pastor however, wasn't so amused as he felt that they have missed the point entirely. To him, the more important part is the heart of the message he was delivering that night. Especially the particular verse he quoted just before the chimes played by itself. He sees it as a form of confirmation from the angelic hosts present that day.
I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
I just went through my church's website and found this very message in mp3. Unfortunately, it wasn't as clear as what I heard on the cassette and video. So tune up your volume 1/3 through the message, brace yourself for an exciting time with God's Word and learn some Hebrew language along the way.
Aleph-Tav" - Jesus' Signature in the Bible (mp3 audio)