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What Is the True Ministry of the Holy Spirit Today?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 | Comments (4)

Pentecostalism is a charismatic movement that derives its name from the day of Pentecost described in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the members of the early church. That passage remains a centerpiece of Pentecostal teaching to this day. It is ironic that such a “movement of the Holy Spirit” has always paid little or no attention to Jesus’ clear description of the Spirit’s true ministry in His church.

In the following video, Steve Lawson explains what that ministry is:

Jesus, referring to the Holy Spirit, said, “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). He also said, “He [the Spirit] will testify about Me” (John 15:26). A clear proclamation of the true ministry of the Holy Spirit, and what that work looks like in the lives of His people, is long overdue—but not for much longer! For information about the Strange Fire conference, please visit

GTY Staff


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#4  Posted by Robin Lane  |  Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 2:42 AM

I think this is by far the best quote from Steve Lawson that you have posted about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And I understand the desire to challenge abuses of spiritual gifts, false claims about spiritual gifts, and false claims of anointing. From various entries in these blogs, it seems that there are very many of these abuses and false claims around today.

However, all this raises vitally important questions. Both John and Steve assign great importance to the work of the Holy Spirit in believers, saying things like: “He … gives them gifts and strengths that can be employed in serving the Lord.” So, is it correct to adopt the belief that the spiritual gifts mentioned in Scripture ceased to be given after the days of the apostles?

Or should the call in this forthcoming conference rather be for MUCH CLOSER adherence to Scripture regarding these spiritual gifts and their use, and for MUCH GREATER discernment as to what comes from the Holy Spirit and what comes from other spirits?

#6  Posted by Jeremiah Johnson (GTY Admin)  |  Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 9:25 AM


The Strange Fire conference is intended to address exactly the questions you're asking. I hope you'll be able to join us in October.

#7  Posted by Cameron Buettel  |  Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 11:54 PM


These are excellent questions you are asking and a major reason for the necessity of doing a conference like Strange Fire. The cessationism espoused by John MacArthur and Steve Lawson does not make the claim that all spiritual gifts have ceased. In fact, both of these men use their spiritual gifts of preaching and teaching to serve the body of Christ. What “cessationists” are saying is that certain apostolic sign gifts ceased at the end of the apostolic era. This will be a major point of discussion during the conference.

You are right in your anticipation that Strange Fire will emphasize the supremacy of Scripture in Christian life, experience, and practice—causing us to properly exercise the spiritual gifts God gives to His people. Whether they admit it or not, the charismatic emphasis on personal experience always comes at the expense of God’s Word and ultimately undermines its sufficiency.

#8  Posted by Ron Carlson  |  Friday, August 9, 2013 at 6:51 AM

I attended a Charismatic church many years ago, part of the Kenneth Hagin branch of churches. I never witnessed so much confusion or error in teaching, as I did in that church! It seemed that the believers only cared about speaking in tongues, of which none of them did. I would hear some of them speak nothing more than gibberish. What was sad, was that most of them never picked up there bibles and knew the word, and if they did, they focused on two topics - faith and tongues.

Although I did meet some believers that did have a strong relationship with God, I could never get past the hang-up that they had on the gifts of the spirit, rather than the fruit of the spirit.

What was also sad was that they said that if you confess the word, you will never be sick. And if you are sick, then you are living in sin. Well, i witnessed that even the pastor was out sick on occassion. They also claimed to have a prophet in the church, who basically would speak to please his fleshly nature. One day a new Christian gave a prophecy about an upcoming football game. Wow, how edifying! I try not to judge these churches, but sometimes i wonder if they are doing more harm than good for the cause of Christ. Those non-believers with a brain would never be attracted to the flakiness of such doings, but rather intelligent teaching like John MacArthur or a Charles Stanley. They are also of the same movement that espouses the prosperity gospel, which has been a lousy witness to the world and has turned off a lot of people to the church! I have witnessed for myself that feeding on the convicting word of God, inspired by God, will help you grow as a Christian, instead of walking around like a bumbling fool speaking nonsense!