Your session will end in  seconds due to inactivity. Click here to continue using this web page.

John MacArthur’s Primary Concern About the Charismatic Movement

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 | Comments (42)

The charismatic movement claims that it is the movement of the Holy Spirit, but there’s a serious problem with that assertion according to John MacArthur. In the following video, John explains what that problem is and how to address it.

Before you can determine whether the Holy Spirit is at work in your life, you need to rightly understand who He is and what He does. And God’s infallible Word is the only reliable place to find that understanding.

A major goal of the Strange Fire conference is to equip believers to discern the Spirit’s work in their lives and the surrounding world. For more information about Strange Fire, please visit the conference website.

GTY Staff


You have 3000 characters remaining for your comment. Note: All comments must be approved before being posted.

Submit

#1  Posted by Moses M  |  Wednesday, July 10, 2013at 3:56 AM

Thanks GTY if you can post this!

Dr Macarthur I come from a charismatic seeker church and they have teachings from Rick warren to Rob bell. And it was there that I came to know the Lord! And then grew to know from the Lord I needed to move out of that church.

So can the Holy spirit still move in a church with pastor who are ignorant about scrptiture truth? So they use Rick warren teachings not knowing it contains alot of twisted truth?

Also how come the majority of that congregation don't get convicted if it is not from the Holy spirit? Why are the pastors and the church it self so blind to this? Why so hard to discern?

I suppose the answer could be like if your in a Mormon church, if your are true to God then the Lord will convict you to leave! Perhaps it is the same in charismatic seeker churches. Many don't want the truth but some do. And its that 'some' that the Lord convicts. Is that correct? Others just don't care...so they follow a delusion..and so never get convicted. But then its just shocking!

Another issue: Can they be save?

Are the people in this church saved then? Listening to Rick warren and follwing the supernatural movement?

What will it all mean if you stay in a church like that and then stand before God? Well just come right into heaven? miss out little reward cause being in the wrong movement?

What are the eternal implications Dr Macarthur on this? A church on the border line nearly red? They preach a simple topical message, use rick warren teachings and other controversial authors. Open up to the supenatural movement? Not really all the way Joel osteen and not really all the way Rob bell, a litte of both. And not all the way on the New Apostolic reformation movement - Prophetic. Use catholics teachings but not all the way catholic either.

What will happen in eternity with those people who support those kings of churches? If they all save then well they might not see nothing wrong about this? Cause they are getting save anyway.

Really am confused on this so hope you can clear this one up in the conference! Pls! :)

Could it be a hidden Catholic spiritual movement plus deception then?

How about Joyce meyer and Joel osteen? Or the borderline Hillsong? Eternally Good and saved? But just lose a few rewards cause they were not totally honest? Hmmm I hope this can be answer!

Perhaps if their salvation is at stake it might wake them up to want to change! Cause I think they see that its all good and that they are going to heaven cause they believe in the core elements under their understanding. But have confused many things but see this as a non eternal issue.

So Hope this can be talk about Dr Macarthur! Thanks so much!

GTY could you post this below: Thanks if you can post this below

Dr Michael Brown a messianic well known leader who wants to have a radio talk with you on this. I hope you can contact him and let him know if you can! He is very charismatic.

#3  Posted by Lois Begly  |  Thursday, July 11, 2013at 4:54 AM

What John needs to do, what would be helpful, is when he makes statements like he did today, true as it may be, that the Holy Spirit speaks through the Bible, he needs to quote the scripture and explain it, as he is so good at. Giving examples to show the difference between a Charismatic way of dealing with something and a relying on scripture way. He's being too vague. Are there any former Charismatics in this SF conference. He needs to have some input from them. Looking at something from the 'outside' could be shortsighted. I was once a Charismatic for over 20 years. I understand what makes them tick, the sincere ones.

Lois

#4  Posted by Ernie Salmons  |  Thursday, July 11, 2013at 5:59 AM

Pastor John,

I have often heard people express that they have felt led to do this or that and believe that the Holy Spirit was leading them to do whatever it might be in their case.

Will the Holy Spirit urge people somehow like this or will he only lead and guide us thru the scriptures alone?

Thanks,

Ernie

#5  Posted by Rocky Russell  |  Thursday, July 11, 2013at 9:12 AM

Is it appropriate/acceptable for me to disagree with Dr. MacArthur here in the comments?

#6  Posted by Jeremiah Johnson  |  Thursday, July 11, 2013at 9:53 AM

Lois,

These video blogs are intended to set up what the conference will deliver. If you're interested, John has taught extensively on what God's Word says about the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit. You can find those messages in our sermon archive.

#7  Posted by Jeremiah Johnson  |  Thursday, July 11, 2013at 9:56 AM

Ernie,

John has an excellent two-message series on God's will called If God's Will is So Important, Why Can't I Find It? It's been a tremendous help to me and many others. You can listen to the sermons for free here: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermon-series/8/if-gods-will-is-so-important-why-cant-i-find-it.

#8  Posted by Jeremiah Johnson  |  Thursday, July 11, 2013at 10:04 AM

Rocky,

Sure. But please keep in mind the blog guidelines, which you'll find in the sidebar on the right.

#9  Posted by Rocky Russell  |  Thursday, July 11, 2013at 10:49 AM

Friends,

As a young 4th grade boy I was unchurched, living in the rural panhandle of western Florida (think Alabama farm country.) The nearest neighbor was a half mile away down a dusty dirt road. An hour bus ride brought me home from a tiny public school to isolation from the world every day. The only people I remember coming over with any regularity are the folks from the Assembly of God who offered to take me to church on Wednesday nights. My parents agreed, and off I went.

Those folks were crazy in the best way... The church owned a fishing pond where us boys went to learn scripture and pray. You couldn't jump off the dock until you quoted your memory verse. My leader was a welder by trade, every week he worked till 5:30 pm, then came straight to pick us kids up. He was also the only white man I knew in that part of the country who would embrace my black friends and give some of them the only hug they would get each week.

Until... One day I explained in my ignorance that everyone at that church was speaking "Spanish!" My dad pulled the plugged (he was Church of Christ but not attending anywhere) and for several months I didn't attend. I remember being pretty depressed, but knew I should obey my parents so I never resisted.

After a season of not attending church my parents conferred and decided the crazy tongue talking church was better than nothing, and allowed me to return. I received Christ as my savior. I was trained, discipled, and given a rich education in the Word. Those country, blue-collar, hard working people gave me something no one else had: time. ...continues

#10  Posted by Rocky Russell  |  Thursday, July 11, 2013at 10:50 AM

I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and to this day I speak in tongues. It is a private matter for me, and posting it here feels like talking about the intimate details of marriage. It is nothing like the description I hear in many of the Strange Fire videos. To be sure, I have met a LOT of people who look like they won the "Spiritual Lottery" - they are just flaky and I believe show up in just about every population of people doing something strange.

The Lord has called me into full-time vocational ministry. I have served as a youth pastor and Senior Pastor, and planted a church where people are brought to faith in Christ and celebrate God's love every day! And, I have relied on materials from Dr. MacArthur for YEARS! I have preached with an expository style, been an uncompromising advocate for truth, and personally given his books and materials as gifts to others. I would like to say publicly that Dr. MacArthur's ministry has born Fruit by way of the salvations that I have had the privilege of seeing in my ministry. I believe more people will see God eternally because I have been touched by Dr. MacArthur.

I say all that to get to this: I do not feel loved by the Strange Fire conference or the statements that I hear from Dr. MacArthur. I actually feel heartbroken. Heresy, blasphemy, grieving the Holy Spirit - these are the charges against me and the beautiful people who poured their lives into me, and, I believe, against the valid work of the Holy Spirit in and through us. We believe our experience with Holy Spirit is valid because of good doctrine, not in spite of it.

Is it possible, is there a tiny sliver of hope, that there is common ground here... Because from this viewpoint it seems more of a "scorched earth" approach to wipe out Pentecostalism, rather than a loving outreach to brothers and sisters, siblings that I know love The Lord and love The Truth.

Sincerely in Christ with love,

Rocky Russell

#12  Posted by Jeremiah Johnson  |  Thursday, July 11, 2013at 4:07 PM

Rocky,

Let me encourage you to watch this previous video blog from John MacArthur. http://www.gty.org/Blog/B130520. I think you'll see that there's no intention of taking a "scorched earth" approach. Far from it, in fact.

#15  Posted by Mr Landry  |  Friday, July 12, 2013at 4:56 AM

Rocky,

I was raised Catholic, and in my early twenties was witnessed to by non-denominational charismatics and pentecostal types, and was inspired by their faith and words of testimony. Their zeal was really incredible and moving, and in retrospect I value my relationships and and interactions with all of them. I never could understand their take on tongues and was mystified by it. Later on in life, having a child and attending a charismatic church with a childrens ministry, upon learning that they were teaching children to speak in tongues, I was repelled by the whole concept of teaching a gift of the spirit, and for this and other reasons, I quit attending that church. From what I understand pentecostals believe that if you do not speak in tongues you do not have the Holy Spirit and are not saved. I have heard accounts of how many faith teachers and proponents have come to speak in tongues and am convinced that most if not all accounts are not of the Holy Spirit. I have heard other accounts of peoples experiences with tongues and they sound a little more genuine, but there again, I look at at human sensory experience and know they cannot be trusted. I have a good question for all who speak in tongues. Before you ever did it for the first time, were you taught it, have seen it being done in church, expected to do it, or was it a spontaneous event that occurred with no preconceived expectation. It seems that the biblical experiences were unplanned, untaught, and unexpected. The simple explanation of it being a sign gift makes the most logical sense to explain it. It seems to be a result of something else and something not necessarily to be sought after. As far as it being a private prayer language meant for personal edification, I'm not sure any of the gifts are meant for any other reason than to serve others.

All this being said, I do believe that false beliefs that people do follow are something to be aware of and try to avoid, but I do not condemn any one who follows them. I hope for a chance to open the bible and show them what the truth looks like according to the scriptures.

Pentecostalism does not need to be wiped out, but it does need to be reformed. The same can be said about the faith movement, the catholic church, and any christian faiths which contain add ons. There was one or two of the churches named in the book of Revelation mainly the church in Philadelphia which had few flaws all the rest were called out for sin and false beliefs by the Lord himself.

One last thing. To all who practice "private prayer language". There are many pagan religions in the world who practice the same effect. Who is their source of spiritual power and influence? I can imagine people who practice fake gifts will one day stand before the Lord and have to account for all that they do in his name, and I don't think their fake tongues can fool Him.

#17  Posted by Rod Evans  |  Sunday, July 14, 2013at 6:49 AM

Hi, Lois...I would like to know the difference between a "charismatic" Christian and a "Christian." If the Holy Spirit convicts one of sin, righteousness and judgment, and that person repents of their sin, and embraces the gospel by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, then what makes that newly-born believer(or any believer for that matter)"charismatic" opposed to a believer that is not charismatic? In other words, if you and I are true believers, what makes you charismatic and me not? Thank you for your clarification, and God bless!

#18  Posted by Ileana Forment  |  Sunday, July 14, 2013at 12:26 PM

Rocky,

What a moving account of the genuine love that you received from sincere people who first taught you about our Lord. Bless them! I've heard of people coming to the Lord by many different means and even by initially sitting under heretical teacher and that always astound me, but it happens. I believe that despite the means the Lord uses to call us, if we are genuinely His, He will ultimately lead us to the Truth. When we were young in the faith we fed on milk, when we are mature we feed on meat. That means leaving behind things that may have been right as a child, but that are no longer appropriate as a mature believer. That doesn't mean that you cast aside and not treasure the means God used, in your out-of-the-way place, to call you to Him, but that as He is teaching you, you move onto a rightful understanding of His Word. That may mean you will be required to put aside that belief or practice that you once held dear . My own experience has shown this to be true. Where I was when I started walking in the faith is diametrically different in many important ways from where I am now. It is part of the sanctification process to learn and grow in the knowledge of the Truth.

A study of the gifts that the church receives from the Holy Spirit will quickly reveal that they are all to be used for the edification of the Body and to be practiced in an orderly fashion since God is a God of order. The practice of speaking in Tongues as manifested by most of the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches doesn't fit that criteria. 1 Cor 14:27-28 "If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.". Even if Paul was speaking about Angelic tongues in those verses, which to my understanding he is not...he is referring to known languages, today's practice in the Pentecostal churches doesn't jibe with the biblical mandate at all. That should give anyone pause and a desire to "test the spirits" and inquire further. Thanks to Dr Macarthur's studies to help us, we can do just that.

#19  Posted by John Abraham  |  Monday, July 15, 2013at 7:17 AM

I do have very high regards to Dr. Mac Arthur's expository teachings of the Word of God by which I have been personally benefited many times. Regarding the above subject I would like to make a neutral comment. I believe that every thing in the Scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit and it is for the benefit of the Body of Christ. There is no doctrine which are more important and some are less important. I would like to mention a statement I made years ago when a question was asked to me when the final evaluation was going on to award me the Doctorate Degree about the so called contradictions in the Scriptures. The Scriptures is NOT contradictory in itself but the understanding and interpretation of the Scriptures may be contradictory depending upon the views and opinions of different individuals.

In the above subject matter the question is whether are not the Charismatic movement is Scriptural or not. My opinion is that they are neither totally correct nor totally wrong according to the Scriptures. Whenever and wherever there was an involvement of the Holy Spirit with men there have been some kind of external manifestations. There will not be enough time and space to quote everything. Even when Jesus came out of the water after being Baptized in River Jordan, the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a Dove for John to confirm that He was the coming Messiah. More over there was a voice heard from Heaven that He was my beloved Son. Some thing similar to that happened on the day of Pentecost too. The problem now is whether the so called Charismatic movement is strictly in accordance with the Scriptures. The Bible clearly describes two kinds of external manifestations relating to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The first is the Fruit of the Spirit and the other is the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. the first one is the practical manifestation and the second is the Spiritual Manifestation. Both are equally important and not one is greater than the other. May be the Charismatic movement gives more importance to the gifts and less importance to the fruits. Paul in his letter to I Corinthians chapters 12-14) gives complete exhortation of how both should be practiced for the edification of the Church and also individual members in the Body of Christ.

My humblest opinion is that the adversary has achieved what he wanted by infusing this difference of understanding in to minds of God's people and distracted them from the ultimate goal of preaching the Gospel to fulfill the greatest commission of Jesus. The experience of the Disciples on the day of Pentecost how ever it might have been when they were all filled the Holy Spirit with a clear distinct external manifestation, later demonstrated the power in their ministry and brought Glory unto the Name of Jesus Christ. He is the same unchanging Jesus. So it is better to avoid differences of opinions and work together in the great task of building the Kingdom of God together.

John Abraham

#20  Posted by Abraham Keyser  |  Monday, July 15, 2013at 5:15 PM

Rocky,

Firstly, what does it mean to be "baptised by the Holy Spirit"? Is it a seperate event from baptism by water? I was under the impression we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we are baptised with water. Or are we filled by the Holy Spirit twice? I struggle to understand the need for water baptism AND a baptism by the Spirit. Or is baptism by the Holy Spirit a kind of 'next' level event on the path to spiritual growth?

What purpose does this "special prayer language" serve in your daily conversations with God? Why would God require of you to speak to Him in an unintelligable 'language'?

These two issues concerns me deeply. It would seem amongst a great many Pentacostals and Charismatics these 'gifts' serve as signs of their spiritual superiority.

Regards,

Abraham

#21  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Tuesday, July 16, 2013at 12:39 PM

John #19,

First off, I doubt anyone ever (including Dr. MacArthur) has been 100% correct. What is important is to strive for it. I disagree about all doctrine being equal. Take baptism for example, if you understand the real meaning of baptism and have obeyed God by doing it, will it then make a difference to God if you are immersed or sprinkled?

What someone teaches about the work of the Holy Spirit is critical to the gospel of Christ. I have been looking at the Spiritual Formation movement and what these people teach is that you can have a subjective mystical experience that trumps the Word. I would point you to Mat 7:21-23 to prove that the apostolic foundation is scripture and should not be tampered with by every Tom, Dick and Harry that has a “spiritual” experience.

How do you interpret 1 Cor 13:10? It really doesn’t make sense to say that the “perfect” is Christ when He returns. When Christ is with us again why will we need faith and hope? I therefore believe that what Paul is referring to is the New Testament. So when the Spiritual Formation proponents tell me that “Sola Scriptura” is out and there are still apostles today receiving prophesy from God what should I do?

To avoid differences of opinion, you would have us let someone remain in error? That has been me several times and I am eternally grateful to the people who didn’t just shrug their shoulders and say, believe whatever you want. Dr. MacArthur is doing what has to be done and what we have all been called to do…Evangelize with the truth. If people believe the bible contains errors or contradictions, I submit that that they do not understand what God is saying. If they think that speaking in tongues is a sign of the Holy Spirit within them and encourage it in church then they are taking Paul’s teaching completely out of context to suit their own agenda. Even my eleven year old can understand what is being taught in 1 Cor 14. To let anything like this go in the spirit of ecumenism is not to obey the commandments of God. John 14:15

#22  Posted by Cherie C  |  Tuesday, July 16, 2013at 9:44 PM

Rocky and everyone actually,

First thing I noticed was your praise of the people in the church your parents let you attend. I had a similar experience before I left my church. Yet all the people who professed to love me as a sister in the Lord abandonded me and attacked me on Facebook. The love you received from those in your church does not mean they are saved. Does not mean they are not in error. When we praise people more than God, we need to check ourselves. Examine ourselves it says in the Word.

What gets me most often is that people put too much into God's Word. Instead of reading the text on the page, they try and find a personal hidden meaning. Why? To satisfy their own opinions and desires. When a follower of Jesus is convicted it should hurt. Remorse, even disgust in one's self should follow. I know when I don't obey God, I feel the conviction. That is true love. Being diverted and corrected from error. Most people fight it or explain it away, again Pride.

If you read Acts carefully you see that there were Jews from all over the continent attending the feast of Pentecost. That is where the "tongues" come from. It says in Acts 2:4-11

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

Tongues in old english is language. The Bible interprets itself. We should not read into it more or ignore other Scripture to prove our point. That is exactly what Jesus meant in Revelation when He spoke about adding to or taking away from His Word.

Sir, come out from among them. It is really vexing to me that people are willing to leave family for what they believe Jesus is, but not willing to leave a false church because of who Jesus really is. And that they cannot recognize apostasy when they see it. I believe the Bible is only for those who have the Holy Spirit and it is never more true than today with the way Scripture is being tossed out, changed and down right eliminated for a self-serving belief system. Those who profess to know God but change His Word in some way do not understand the Word or they would not do it. Jesus' burden is light, we need to stop making it heavy.

Written with love,

Cherie c.

#23  Posted by Matina Bishop  |  Wednesday, July 17, 2013at 6:41 AM

Hello Pastor MacArthur,

I want to personally thank you for consistently preaching the unadulterated truth of God's Word. My husband and I have have enjoyed listening to your preaching and teaching of the truth since we've been married (3 1/2 years now).

I am writing this post because both my husband and I have families that are deep in the Charismatic Movement (specifically the Prosperity Gospel teaching). We grew up under this type of teaching but shortly after the Lord saved us we saw that this teaching was heretical. We have been able to attend Moody Bible Institute where we were able to learn more of God's Word.

We have shared with our family that this teaching is not biblical and they do not believe nor understand us. This is one of the main reasons why we would have loved to attend the Strange Fire conference but can't because it is full now. But I am writing this post because I would like to know if you will be addressing the specific verses that many charismatic/prosperity preachers wrongly use as they twist the Scriptures to make it say something that it simply does not teach.

The following verses come to mind:

James 5:13-16

3 John 2

Isaiah 53:4-5 (Matthew 8:17)

Deuteronomy 28:58; 30:15-20

Jesus' healing ministry in the gospels

There are many more verses that are misused as I am sure you are aware of. What my husband and I have found when we have conversations with our family is that they go to these verses to prove what they have been taught is biblical. So we want to show them from the Scripture how what they have been taught is actually not biblical but that those verses have been twisted and simply can not mean what the false teachers say them mean.

#24  Posted by Scott Lang  |  Wednesday, July 17, 2013at 12:29 PM

Matina #23,

Be assured, the conference speakers will address various Scripture passages that are misused by the charismatic movement, and equally important, Scripture which defines the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. All sessions will be available online after the conference.

#25  Posted by Robin Lane  |  Thursday, July 18, 2013at 2:39 AM

WHEN THE PERFECT COMES

In #21 Ben asks about the interpretation of 1 Cor 13:10, saying that ‘It really doesn’t make sense to say that the “perfect” is Christ when He returns.’

But it doesn’t make sense to interpret it as referring to the completion of the New Testament either.

(1) IMMEDIATE CONTEXT – 1 Cor 13:8 says that not only will prophecies pass away and tongues cease, but knowledge will also pass away. The last part of that statement indicates that Paul was not referring to the completion of the New Testament – otherwise knowledge would already have passed away, which clearly it has not. 1 Cor 13:12 then gives a clue about relating the coming of the perfect to Christ’s return when it says, ‘For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face’. We do not expect to see Christ face to face until he returns.

(2) NEAR CONTEXT – 1 Cor 13, with its focus on the ‘more excellent way’ of love, is sandwiched in between two sections about proper use of spiritual gifts (chapters 12 and 14). The gifts are to be used in love to build up the church, with everything being done ‘decently and in order’. Given this position in the overall text, it does not make sense to conclude that Paul is saying in chapter 13 that the gifts will soon cease, when he is about to go on to give further guidance on their use in chapter 14.

(3) INITIAL CONTEXT – In 1 Cor 1:4-8 Paul gives thanks for the way that the church in Corinth had been enriched in Christ, so that they were not lacking in any spiritual gift. That is an early indication that he was going to return to the subject of spiritual gifts later in the letter.

(4) LATER CONTEXT – 1 Cor 15 follows on from the sections about the spiritual gifts and their use with an explanation of the Resurrection. It includes Paul’s statements that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Our perishable bodies must put on the imperishable. Our mortal bodies must put on immortality (1 Cor 15:50-57).

For these reasons it seems that 1 Cor 13:10 does refer to Christ’s return, because that is when perfection comes to Christians, when Christ returns and we are raised imperishable (i.e. perfect).

#26  Posted by John Abraham  |  Thursday, July 18, 2013at 6:57 AM

Ben Enders,

I am glad you accepted no one is 100% correct in the first place. This answers your own question raised based on 1 Cor. 13.10. The same applies to your concern about the passage you referred in Matt: 7:21-24. Through out the Church History many denomination have taken root starting from Catholicism in 300 .A.D to Charismatic movement in 1900 A.D. None of these denominations took the Scriptures as a whole and the complete truth. That bothers me. Each of them focused and adapted there own interpretation and are following them until this day. Only when Christ appears every thing will be known which is perfect. None of us has the authority to criticize the other. No one has understood the depth of the mind of the Eternal God except the Holy Spirit who is the Author of the entire Scriptures. So follow what He says because every man is short of understanding of the Scriptures in its entirety.

Read the first three chapters of the Acts Of the Apostles. In the first chapter Jesus commanded the disciples to wait for the promise of the father until you are anointed by the by the Holy Spirit, the power from above to witness and to build the Church. The 120 obeyed and waited. In the second Chapter on the day of Pentecost it was fulfilled with a number of external manifestations including the Speaking in other tongues which the people who were speaking did not know or understand what they were speaking. In the very same chapter Peter rose up and testified about Jesus Christ who was crucified and died, buried and rose again the third day for which we are the witnesses. Three thousand people were saved and the church began. In the third chapter the same Peter entering into the temple through the gate called beautiful, saw a palsy man begging for arms, and Peter said I have no Silver or Gold, but I have something which I can give you. By saying this the held his right hand and raised him up in the Name of Jesus, and he rose. This conforms to the the Scriptures in Mark 16:20 that the Lord working with them and confirming the Word with signs following. Do you still believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and for ever more? (Hebrews 13:8)

The word ecumenism is a misnomer in the Body of Christ. There is nothing called spirit of ecumenism. Bible talks about oneness, one accord, unity in the spirit, and being identified as one in the Body of Christ. Praise be to the Holy Name of God.

#27  Posted by Johnny Helms  |  Thursday, July 18, 2013at 9:51 AM

I have been deeply concerned over what has come from and out of the Charismatic Movement since the mid '70's and the way it has been embraced without being examined by Scripture. I was in this movement for 9 years but never really "into" it. In 2007 after having watched TBN off and on for years just to see what kind of nonsense these people were passing off as gospel, I finally got fed up with seeing reputable men like Charles Stanley and James Merritt and others not only broadcasting their services on this network but praising Paul Crouch as well. I sent them a letter that I had posted on my blog concerning their presence on TBN alongside the leading heretics of our times. A staff member of an SBC office was sent a link to my blog and she sent it to one of the SBC execx. He replied with a laugh saying, "That's the 'boys.'" They could not care less about their legitimizing these damnable heretics.

#29  Posted by Cameron Buettel  |  Thursday, July 18, 2013at 12:08 PM

Moses (1)

That was a lot of questions. For the sake of time and space I will not attempt to answer them all but perhaps my answers to your main questions might help clear up the others.

1. Can the Holy Spirit still move in a church with pastors who are ignorant about Scripture?

God the Holy Spirit is free to move wherever He wills. God is so kind that he often saves people in spite of what they are hearing from the pulpit. But one of the signs of true conversion is that the new Christian will hunger after sound biblical teaching. Also, when we talk about being ignorant of Scripture, it is important to define what that means. If he is ignorant of the gospel then you should go elsewhere. If he is ignorant of some of the finer points of non-essential doctrine such as end-times then we should extend a lot more grace.

2. Why are so many pastors blind to the truth?

John MacArthur's sermons from the book of Jude will really give you a much clearer understanding of this. You can get them here http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/scripture/jude

3. Are the people in a church saved when they sit under the teaching of people like Rick Warren or people who are totally focussed on signs and wonders?

We can never surely know who are the true Christians in any gathering of professing believers. But we can be sure that those who are saved under false teaching are saved in spite of, not because of, the teaching they are receiving. And those who are truly Christ's will ultimately hear the voice of a true shepherd and move in that direction. True churches are made up of Christians and a smattering of false converts. False churches can be made up of false converts with a smattering of true believers.

4. What are the eternal implications of a church on the border line of false teaching?

Any church that is led by people who cannot recognize the heresies of Joel Osteen, Rob Bell, and Roman Catholicism made its border crossing a long time ago. Jude 1:4 tells us that heretics are marked out for condemnation. The message they preach damns those who embrace it. Perhaps one of the greatest crimes in modern times is preachers who give eternal assurance to people for "walking an aisle," "saying a prayer," or "signing a card," without ever calling them to repentance or examining their lives for the fruit of true spiritual regeneration.

5. What about those who support false teachers and false churches?

Without a doubt, one of the saddest things I have witnessed in recent years is faithful preachers who have either endorsed, or turned a blind eye, to people who preach another gospel. Based on their profession of faith and the content of their preaching I have no reason to doubt that many of these people are truly saved. Their actions, however, do great damage by lending credibility and legitimacy to wolves who preach damnable lies. Shepherds feed sheep and protect them from wolves. They should not abandon either duty (Romans 16:17, Galatians 1:8-9).

#30  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Thursday, July 18, 2013at 5:41 PM

There is a correct answer for everything in the bible. Your logic escapes me. Are you saying we should believe whatever we want and Christ will sort it out when he returns? All true Christians have the authority to “criticize” (2 Tim 4:2, Titus 1:9, Titus 1:13, Titus 2:15).

“So follow what He says because every man is short of understanding of the Scriptures in its entirety”. What does this mean? Does this mean you are a charismatic? Do you mean misnomer? There certainly is a “spirit of ecumenism”, Google it if you have to.

This is a very strange dialogue. I’m starting to think this is some kind of a goof. I'm just a high school educated construction guy so maybe I don't get it but, no one I know with any kind of Doctorate (yes, I know several) is this challenged by the English language or lacking in rational thinking. I’m done with this thread.

#31  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Thursday, July 18, 2013at 7:01 PM

Robin

(1)Define knowledge as Paul and the HS meant it. My Greek is not very good but, I don't think it means what you think it means.

(2) Are you familiar with the problems in the Corinthian church (No sarcasm intended)? Are you basing your understanding of the text on where Paul puts it in his letter?

(3) Isn’t that called exhortation? So what if he returns to the subject, are you saying that for me to be correct it would have to be at the end of the letter?

(4) I don’t see where spiritual gifts are in play with chapter 15. Is this some new Hermeneutical seminary theory on text location?

I do like the idea that it is Christ’s return but, I can’t make sense of it. Tongues today, from what I’ve seen is gibberish. No one seems to be following Paul’s teaching on it that I’m aware of. I am solid with no more prophesy today and by that I mean no new revelation, no more apostles, the canon is closed. I can’t explain all of it and maybe I never will. The one thing I know for sure is that the bible is from God. If people are going to use their interpretation to alter God’s unchanging Word then their teachings are false. Spiritual Formation proponents and Charismatics are in that camp whether they know it or not.

You make an interesting case but not enough to change my position.

#32  Posted by Ramon Jones  |  Friday, July 19, 2013at 7:14 AM

I went to a church that believed in speaking in tongues. It was taught that we had to tarry for the Holy Ghost after we were saved. That meant bowing at the alter and calling on "Jesus". I few deacon s and ministers would walk around while everyone else prayed and called on the name "Jesus". It was encouraged to say "Jesus" as fast as you could until you spoke in tongues. After a certain amount of time pasted in the tarry service, deacons and ministers began to to shout out loud to people, "Call on Him...Say JESUS-JESUS-JESUS-JESUS." Of course I spoke in tongues. It felt good to FINALLY be able to speak in tongues like other people did in the church. It has been over a decade since I have been a member of that church. And they still believe in speaking in tongues. In retrospect, the strangest thing about my experience of speaking in tongues was that it didn't build my relationship with God. It didn't help me in any way. I really don't know why I did it.

I do not speak in unknown tongues, but I study the scriptures. I depend on the Holy Spirit in a different way. Not to speak in tongues, but to illuminate His word.

The unfortunate thing is that I attend anther church that believes in speaking in tongues. People get up to testify about how God has done something great in their lives and in mist of that, you will hear that person speaking in tongues. People even speak in tongues while giving announcements, singing a song, reading a scripture, talking to any member, etc. I'm told that you can't put any limits on the Holy Spirit. Is there some who can give me some help on this situation.

#34  Posted by Robin Lane  |  Saturday, July 20, 2013at 6:10 AM

WHEN THE PERFECT COMES (2)

Hello Ben, further to your comments about the interpretation of 1 Cor 13:10,

(1) KNOWLEDGE – I don’t know NT Greek, but across the eight English translations I have checked, seven render it simply as ‘knowledge’. Besides, in 1 Cor 13:12 Paul wrote ‘Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’ So if we interpret ‘knowledge’ in verse 8 the way that I think you want to, it would mean that we should already ‘know fully’. Would any of us who are in our right minds claim to know fully yet? We will only know fully when we are resurrected to be with Christ.

(2) NEAR CONTEXT – It is not a matter of where in the text Paul puts a statement, so much as trying to understand the flow of his logic. The main problem was that of divisions within the Corinthian church, which Paul addressed primarily in the first four chapters of the letter. But it also seems that misuse of spiritual gifts was contributing to the divisions, with people competing to demonstrate their gift(s). Hence Paul’s instructions to ‘follow the way of love’ (1 Cor 14:1), restrict their use of the gifts (1 Cor 14:26-33) and do everything in an orderly manner (1 Cor 14:39-40).

(3) INITIAL CONTEXT – No, I wouldn’t describe 1 Cor 1:4-8 as an exhortation. I think Paul was genuinely thankful that they had been enriched and that they didn’t lack any spiritual gift. It is simply an early indication about his thinking on the topic of spiritual gifts.

(4) LATER CONTEXT – I wasn’t trying to link 1 Cor 15 to spiritual gifts directly, but to ‘when the perfect comes’ (1 Cor 13:10). If it is correct to say that Paul’s reference in 13:10 is to the coming of perfection at the resurrection, when our perishable bodies must put on the imperishable, then that negates the suggestion that tongues and prophecies ceased upon the completion of the New Testament.

The hermeneutical rules that I am trying to apply are: to take the plain meaning of the words wherever possible, and to consider each verse correctly within its context – both its immediate context and its wider context.

#35  Posted by John Abraham  |  Saturday, July 20, 2013at 4:23 PM

Ben

There is nothing strange in my comment. As you just said I opened a new dialog box. The reason I said that " not every one could understand the Scriptures in its entirety" is because (a) not everybody knows the languages the scriptures were written, (b) Not every one was present during the times of Jesus or the Apostles and Paul, (c) not every one was aware the situation and the context it was written, (d) not every body can understand the mind of God except the Holy Spirit, (e) not every one is capable of interpreting (rightly dividing) the word of God, (f) not everybody has the sound mind to understand the Truth, (g) not everybody reads and meditates the word of God in the right way with prayers. When such is the case how could every one understand the Scriptures in its entirety?

I would like to answer the question whether I am a Charismatic? No. but I believe in the anointing of the Holy Spirit and all the manifestations of the fruits and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Because the word Charismatic movement is not derived from the Scriptures. The same problem came up when the Trinitarian movement surfaced. Everybody discounted it because we do not find the Word Trinity in the Scriptures. But still every one believes in Trinity of the God Head. None of the Names of the sects or denominations within Christianity today find any place in the Bible. But we accept them recognize them and respect them. I want to go with Paul in this who says the however Jesus is being preached because every one in every walk of life should hear the Gospel some time some way or the other in his life time. That is our ultimate Goal. I hope you agree.

About the Spirit of Ecumenism, normally I do not seek explanation for any thing connected to Scriptures in social medias. But I respected your advise and Googled it. I came across a wonderful statement which every should know. Quote,"Dr Clements a theologian, argued that one’s Christian identity is not a fixed thing, instead, identity is a quest and you discover your identity as you relate to others.

Fundamental to the ecumenical movement, he said, has been the human impulse, central also to biblical spirituality, to cross boundaries and understand each other through an exchange of life and experience that leads to mutuality and common witness and service." So this has nothing to do with the unity of the Body Of Christ.

Finally, about criticizing others I studied again the the references you have given. In all the four references the word "rebuke" is predominantly used. Rebuking is different from criticizing. Rebuking is the term normally used as per the dictionary, " you rebuke some one because they have said or done something which you do not approve of" Paul advised Timothy and Titus to stand fast on their teachings because in previous few verses he has clearly exhorted them to hold fast sound doctrines. remember doctrines are derived from TRUTH any they are not truth by itself. God be glorified.

#36  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Monday, July 22, 2013at 9:32 AM

Robin, #34 writes,

So if we interpret ‘knowledge’ in verse 8 the way that I think you want to, it would mean that we should already ‘know fully’. Would any of us who are in our right minds claim to know fully yet? We will only know fully when we are resurrected to be with Christ.

Your definitions of “knowledge,” “prophecy,” and “tongues” is key here. You seem to understand “knowledge” as “familiarity” as in knowing someone personally. In this case, knowing Jesus because He is here with us physically at the 2nd coming.

However, taking your approach of considering the near context, Paul’s understanding of knowledge in 1 Cor. is one of revelation that God imparts. That is the consistent use of the word. In fact, looking at 13:10, knowledge, prophecy, and tongues are categories of gifts that pertain to spoken, divine communication, or revelation. That leads me to asking what you think about revelation. Do you still think God gives divine revelation to His people today that is apart from the completed revelation contained in holy Scripture? If that is the case, that speaks to your over all view of the sufficiency of Scripture as being all we need to know God and grow in Christ.

Continuing, you write,

The hermeneutical rules that I am trying to apply are: to take the plain meaning of the words wherever possible, and to consider each verse correctly within its context – both its immediate context and its wider context.

I haven’t read how you define knowledge, prophecy, and tongues. Applying your rules of hermeneutics, for instance, the plain meaning of the word “tongues” is known, spoken language. I have yet to encounter any Christian or church where the gift of tongues is exercised in the manner defined in Scripture. Moreover, prophecy and knowledge are connected to God’s communicated revelation.

I believe Scripture contains the full and perfect, i.e. complete, revelation God gave for the health and growth of Christ’s church. Hence, there isn’t any more need for the divine prophecy and knowledge. If a Christian believes there is still need for those gifts today, how then can he or she say God’s Word is sufficient?

#37  Posted by P B  |  Monday, July 22, 2013at 12:25 PM

when I was first introduced to Christianity, I attended almost exclusively Pentecostal churches. I can tell you that despite their claims for all the gifts operating and that tongues is for today and builds the church, mostly what I saw was an attempt at language that often sounded like baby talk; someone repeating half a word over and over. Then the interpretation would come and it was usually some vague statement about how God was pleased with us and wanted to bless us; once it was a prophecy about an earthquake that never occurred. Over all I did not see anyone significantly edified nor was the church ever added to as a result of this carrying on. Despite claims for supernatural gifts I seldom if ever saw anyone healed or heard any prophecy that was verified as credible in one way or another. Later in the vineyard movement I would experience personal prophecy sessions which were so fluffy and lacking in any real meaning or substance that apart from having rec'd some priority attention from the group, did nothing for the hearer. Then from there I began attending churches such as a word faith church. One thing I noted about the word faith movement that I have not heard anyone mention specifically is that it seemed to attract a lot of folks with control issues. So does deliverance ministry. Rather than this being an unkind comment, I had years to observe this in action. I was involved in numerous deliverance sessions with a variety of non associated people and groups. what I saw were yes, well meaning folks who sincerely wanted to see people defeat evil strangleholds in their lives but I also saw an astonishing number of folks with huge power and control issues that they would not admit to but were instead converting into attempts at controlling the world around them via warfare theology. Some taught that we can command angels to do our bidding like the guy who addressed the angels as if he was God's henchman and the angels were his "enforcers". Others prayed very, very complicated prayers that involved concerns about demons hiding out in circles, cubes, and other geographic mental constructs in the human mind, usually in an attempt to help folks who had built elaborate mental hiding places as a result past abuse and trauma. It was thought that you needed the highly specialized knowledge of these spiritual shamans to get free esp. if you had DID or SRA. As well as funding to afford their fees. Some gave help freely but many charged absurd fees. Whatever happened to "freely you have rec'd, so freely give"? In the end I saw so much freakish, cornball stuff that I began to feel I was participating in a live version of the Emperor's New Clothes. My charismatic friends always had explanations for every question that came up that upon closer examination didn't really hold water. So I am glad this is being exposed. Will keep reading and watching. Thank you GTY and John Mac.

#38  Posted by Abraham Keyser  |  Monday, July 22, 2013at 2:56 PM

It would seem to me many defenders of the 'signs' movement are prone to over-

intellectualise something very simple.

Could it be that their inability to support and substantiate the use of unintelligible chanting through Scripture compels them to over-complicate what is actually a simple issue in order to hide their own Scriptural ignorance?

Can any one of the proponents or defenders of the contemporary 'tongues' movement be so kind and explain to me the following:

Why is the 'tongue' spoken, unintelligible?

Who 'interprets' this alleged 'tongue'?

Where does the 'interpreter' receive the ability to decipher an unintelligible 'tongue'?

What purpose does chanting an unintelligible 'tongue' in Church serve?

What purpose does chanting an unintelligible 'tongue' in private serve?

I'm interested in the specific Scriptures which supports the chanting of unintelligible 'tongues' in both the private and public.

#39  Posted by Ion Lorin  |  Tuesday, July 23, 2013at 3:52 AM

It's time when the truth is mixed with the ancient teachings of the world; because for the vast majority of civilized cultures , Jesus Christ from the 2000 years ago, can't be eat/understood;

I have a question,

Anyone heard or seen a missionary of any denomination who spoke the language of a foreign population without to learn first that language ? From what I know forever we used translators or we learn the language of that population.

#40  Posted by John Abraham  |  Tuesday, July 23, 2013at 6:18 AM

#38 and others

I am glad that you came out in the open. TONGUES are ( you may use the word LANGUAGES it doesn't matter) not unintelligible. There are many tongues in the world and all of them are intelligible to those who speak them. 1 cor 14:10. In the Word of God word unknown tongue is being used which clearly indicates that it is not a tongue known to the one speaking it. I live Canada. It has people speaking 37 different languages. When I sit and watch in the food court I could only hear lot of noises and I can't understand anything. when somebody walks in and he finds the group speaking the same language as his he mixes with them and enjoy conversation which I couldn't. The same applies to the day of Pentecost where the 120 speaking in unknown tongues did not know what language they were speaking, but some those who were present there knew these languages, and they exclaimed that hey! we here them speaking the wonders of God in our languages! but they are all illiterate Galileans? Acts 2: 7 I don't see any surprise in this. For the 120 those were unknown tongues and for those who heard them it was known languages. The Bible explains itself. In verse 4 we read that the Spirit gave them utterance. Here they spoke these languages with the ability given to them by the HS.

In Acts 10:44-46 the same was repeated in Cornelius' house.

The same happened when Paul was at Ephesus. Acts 19: 1-6 What I am trying to point out is that tongues are unintelligible to the one who speaks and intelligible to the one who hears it, provided he knows that tongue. For others it is only a noise as Paul indicates in 1 Cor 9-11.

Who interprets? Paul begins 1 Cor 12:1 Concerning Spiritual gifts, BRETHREN addressing the believers I would not have you ignorant. He classifies nine gifts as the manifestation of the HS. 1. Every believer had wisdom to become a child of God by believing in Jesus. But not all have the Gift of Word of Wisdom Like Dr. MacArthur. 2. Every one has knowledge to understand spiritual things but not the Gift of Word of Knowledge 3. Every one has Faith to become a believer but not has the Gift of Faith to move mountains. 4. Every believer can pray for the sick but not every one has the Gift of Healing. 5. Every believer can pray for a miracle but not every one has the Gift of Working of Miracles. 6. When God wants to speak he can use a believer but it does not mean he has Gift of Prophesy. 7. By our intellect we could differentiate good spirit from bad ones, but not all have the Gift of Discerning of Spirits. 8. Every believer speaks with unknown tongues when HS comes on him but not every one has the Gift of Speaking in tongues. 9. Any one who knows that language spoken can interpret but the one who has the Gift of Interpretation of can only interpret. There are diversities of Gifts but the Same Spirit. 12:6 The point is Gifts are manifested by special anointing by the HS as we read in Acts 10:38. Each is given for us to benefit.

#42  Posted by Robin Lane  |  Thursday, July 25, 2013at 8:44 AM

Fred, #36

Yes the definition of knowledge is key to what we were discussing, and you are probably right that Paul was referring to divine revelation. Rather than discuss that detail further, let’s go to the heart of the matter. The concern at GTY is that those who believe in the continuation of spiritual gifts believe in ‘further divine revelation’, and that this belief ignores the authority of Scripture.

Clearly, there are groups who ignore the authority of Scripture and focus on spiritual gifts. There are many comments about such groups in these blogs. Those groups are a big problem because they are spreading confusion about Christianity.

However, there are others who treat Scripture as authoritative and who also believe that God still reveals things today. We do not see in Scripture any clear statement that God will change the way he works with his Church between the Day of Pentecost and Christ’s return. BUT we do believe that nothing in modern revelation will ever contradict Scripture (Numbers 23:19), nor will it add to Scripture. We accept that the canon of Scripture is complete.

Our concern is that those who hold Cessationist beliefs are misinterpreting the very Scriptures they claim to respect. They reduce Christianity to a matter of purely rational belief, and dismiss the spiritual dimension of it – which is potentially disastrous because the reason we are to worship God in spirit and in truth is that ‘God is spirit’ (John 4:24).

If we consider all the Christians around the world who are being called to ministry, each one needs to discern where our Lord wants them to serve. We should not limit him to speaking to them through Scripture, otherwise lots of places in the world will be overlooked. Mary’s husband Joseph was prompted in a dream to take Jesus to Egypt (Matthew 2:13). Cornelius was told in a vision to send for Peter (Acts 10:1-8). Paul was prompted in a vision to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:9). When Scripture has so many examples like this, why do Cessationists continue to argue against it?

#43  Posted by Abraham Keyser  |  Thursday, July 25, 2013at 2:12 PM

# 40 and 42

Please explain the purpose of the babbling gibberish some Charismatics and Pentecostals claim to be the gift of 'tongues'?

BTW ... even occultism has a spiritual dimension. While sitting in a circle in your lounge room with a bunch of fellow believers, chanting some babbling gibberish repetitively in some trance-like state of euphoria calling on the Holy Spirit to present Himself might seem 'spiritual' to some, I personally find such practices questionable to say the least. More so if done in Church.

SOLA SCRIPTURA is the means through which God Almighty reveals Himself. Unless of course SOLA SCRIPTURA is not sufficient and babbling gibberish is required to 'supplement' the deficiencies in Scripture.

#44  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Friday, July 26, 2013at 2:25 AM

Robin,

Well said, except the purely rational belief part. I don’t find it rational at all that I am among the chosen. I also have had many personal internal experiences that convince me that the Holy Spirit is with me and guides me when I need it. That guidance is almost always through what I’ve read in the bible. That being said, I don’t think we (?) dismiss the spiritual dimension at all but, feel that it is critical to the gospel message to attribute to the Holy Spirit only what the bible teaches. No true Christian could dismiss the Spirit or a spiritual dimension. Why do we have to be careful though? Acts 19:12, Mat 7:21-23

The following is by John Piper from 1990. I thought you might like to see it.

Theses

1. It is still valid and useful for the church today. This is the clear implication of 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 and Acts 2:17-18.

2. It is a Spirit-prompted, Spirit-sustained, utterance that is rooted in a true revelation (1 Corinthians 14:30), but is fallible because the prophet’s perception of the revelation, and thinking about the revelation, and report of the revelation are all fallible. It is thus similar to the gift of teaching which is Spirit-prompted, Spirit sustained, rooted in an infallible revelation (the Bible), and yet is fallible but very useful to the church.

3. It does not have an authority that is on a par with Scripture, for Scripture is verbally inspired, not just Spirit-prompted and Spirit-sustained. The very words of the biblical writers are the words of God (1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16). This is not true of the words that come from the “gift of prophecy.”

4. The New Testament gift of prophecy is a “third category” of prophetic utterance between the categories of 1) verbally inspired, intrinsically authoritative, infallible speech spoken by the likes of Moses, Jesus and the apostles; and 2) the speech of false prophets spoken presumptuously, without inspiration and liable to condemnation (Deuteronomy 18:20). Those two categories (absolutely infallible vs. false) do not exhaust all the biblical teaching on prophecy.

Definition

Prophecy in this “third category” (the New Testament gift of prophecy) is a regulated message or report in human words usually made to the gathered believers based on a spontaneous, personal revelation from the Holy Spirit for the purpose of edification, encouragement, consolation, conviction or guidance but not necessarily free from a mixture of human error, and thus needing assessment on the basis of the apostolic (Biblical) teaching and mature spiritual wisdom.

#45  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, July 26, 2013at 6:21 AM

Robin #42 writes,

The concern at GTY is that those who believe in the continuation of spiritual gifts believe in ‘further divine revelation’, and that this belief ignores the authority of Scripture.

Yes. That is a serious concern. It goes beyond just the authority of Scripture to the sufficiency of Scripture. Is Scripture alone sufficient to lead and direct a Christian? Charismatics seem to me to be saying "no" whereas Paul wrote to Timothy that Scripture is profitable to make the Man of God to be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work. What I read you to be saying is that Scripture is only partially profitable and additional, modern-day revelations that come in the form of visions, dreams, or "still small voices" is needed.

continuing,

They reduce Christianity to a matter of purely rational belief, and dismiss the spiritual dimension of it – which is potentially disastrous because the reason we are to worship God in spirit and in truth is that ‘God is spirit’

This misunderstands the Holy Spirit's work of illumination that takes place in the heart of a believer. It is a strawman to charge cessationists of living purely by rational belief and dismissing the spiritual dimensions of God's Spirit conforming us to righteousness as we are sanctified by Him daily.

#46  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, July 26, 2013at 6:30 AM

Ben #44 writes, (note my emphasis)

Prophecy in this “third category” (the New Testament gift of prophecy) is a regulated message or report in human words usually made to the gathered believers based on a spontaneous, personal revelation from the Holy Spirit for the purpose of edification, encouragement, consolation, conviction or guidance but not necessarily free from a mixture of human error, and thus needing assessment on the basis of the apostolic (Biblical) teaching and mature spiritual wisdom.

Just so I am clear: You're saying that the God of all truth, in whom there is no shadow or darkness, and is declared to be NOT a God of confusion, or disorder (1 Cor. 14:33) will allow divine revelation to be uttered that is mixed with human error, thus by implication, give a "false prophecy?" Do you understand how absurd that is?

#47  Posted by Charles Williamson  |  Friday, July 26, 2013at 8:27 AM

Come on guys, why are ganging up on the lady? Let me debate you, unless you consider me a spiritually dangerous individual. But to that I would say, I don’t understand what you are talking about, what is all this charismatic, cessationist stuff anyway. Of course it does make sense coming from Doctors of Law.

What I want to know from you is what does the life of Enoch, the life of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Joshua, Ruth, David, Jesus, Paul and me also! have in common with each other? If you said anything other than, that they are fathered by God, then you should ask yourself if you are even his child.

We really need to grow up into Him!

#48  Posted by John Abraham  |  Friday, July 26, 2013at 2:17 PM

#42 #43#46#47

For all these the answer is the same. If you look in to the Revivals in the Church History many things will be cleared. The greatest revivals as theologians and historians have accounted for is the revivals took place form the beginning of 20 th century only. The reason being following these revivals Evangelism and Church growth gained tremendous momentum all over the world. Perhaps it started In US and Britain in 1901 and 1904 respectively followed by many parts of the world. Remember the Telecommunication system was not as fast as of today, so is obviously the Holy Spirit was at Work. This Revival was the foundation of the Pentecostalism. God used individuals to usher in this revivals. It followed same pattern of the events after the day of Pentecost including Speaking in tongues and the demonstration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit like healing, prophesy. There was not much of a controversy reported until almost 1967 and the main line Churches started embracing Pentecostalism including the Catholic Church.

Then came the disaster. The Charismatic Movement entered in 1967. They said we are using the English word for the Greek word gifts. Here lies the deception. Charisma in English means attractive and influential. Quote, Charismatic movement is the international trend of historically mainstream congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals. There was no man involved for the start of this movement as it used to be always Gods Chosen men were involved in any major event in the human history starting from Moses to Apostle Paul. Make no mistake, the Charismatic movement is man made in absolute disguise to stop the momentum created by the Pentecostalism which ushered the last day events fulfilling the end time prophesies. Because of the teachings of this movement God's people are being deceived and lost the VISION of the TRUTH. But the TRUTH shall prevail.

I always put only two acid tests for any Spiritual matter. Whether what is being taught or practiced by any famous preacher or any so called ministers (1) bring GLORY to the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST (2) in ACCORDANCE with the WORD OD GOD. If it is not I will simply discount or discard it. But at the same time if some one tries to twist the truth taking advantage of the ignorance of the people of God I will try my level best to explain and counter it only with the zeal for God and His Word and not with any other motive.

In the matter of Charismatic movement, the facts about the Charismatic movement should be properly exposed and the Body of Christ should be warned about the last days deception.

Again let us not view the Pentecostals as the same like Charismatic movement, because their vision and commitment for Evangelism and Church growth, is the same since it started in the early part of the 20 th century, and the TRUTH shall be revealed on Jesus' return. May be some leaders accept the Charismatic wave but they will soon know it. Glory to God.

#49  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Friday, July 26, 2013at 4:11 PM

Fred,

Did you read the part where I said this is from John Piper? I don’t know much about him but, I understand he is well respected aside from the Rick Warren thing.

So the God who is not the God of confusion or disorder allows His adopted sons (with the Holy Spirit present within them) to read divine revelation and be confused by it and opposed with one another over it? Do MacArthur and Sproul see eye to eye on everything? Do you agree 100% with everything MacArthur says? Correct me if I’m wrong but, isn’t divine revelation (by that do you mean scripture) written, not uttered? So no, I don’t see how absurd that is.

My understanding of what happens when someone prophesies is that they are preaching /teaching something from scripture that the Holy Spirit has illuminated for them. I do not personally believe that any new revelation (scripture) has been given since John’s exile on Patmos.

So why do true Christians with the Holy Spirit to help them not all have the same understanding of scripture?

#50  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Friday, July 26, 2013at 4:18 PM

Charles,

How do you know Robin is a female and isn't it hard to debate someone when you have no idea what's going on?

Debate and discussion are good things. Christian fellowship is not just saying, pass the casserole.