Yesterday we talked about testing the Spirits and knowing the right voice. After speaking about being the good shepherd, John 10:19 “the Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” This mentality still has not changed. Many churches today have based their theological beliefs in regards to the Holy Spirit in response towards the charismatic movement. Before going on let me just say that we should be very careful when it comes to the charismatic movement. Much of it is satan masquerading as an angel of light, but to get rid of everything supernatural contradicts scripture. This makes me think of a really odd statement about bathing. Often people say, “Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.” First of all who would do that I ask. But lets just go with it for now as “an idiomatic expression and a concept used to suggest an avoidable error in which something good is eliminated when trying to get rid of something bad.” So in their effort to speak against the false they throw out the truth with it. They even go so far as to deny the very scriptures they think they are protecting. The charismatic movement is actually filled with false teaching and prophecy. There are many leaders leading the church astray but we can say the same thing for other movements that are considered non-charismatic. Within the charismatic movement there is much deception taking place. 2 Corinthians 11:1 “I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” Again the charismatics take a bad rap for this but what Paul speaks of is happening in non-charismatic circles also. Basically you have extreme charisma or cessationism. It is much better to stick with scripture. We must test the spirits at a Baptist church as well as a Pentecostal church.
There is so much distortion of scripture when it comes to the supernatural. Many people say they believe but really they do not. For instance they know they cannot deny scripture so they adjust it a little. Pauls says in 1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.” Just because the greatest of these is love does not mean the others have ceased. We are not supposed to seek the gifts but it does not mean gifts or the manifestations of the Spirit are a bad thing. How can they be bad, as they are gifts from the Holy Spirit. People often think John 4:48 refers to ceasing of signs and wonders. “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” This does not mean signs and wonders are bad. No just don’t seek them for proof. You must believe because the bible said so just as we must believe the Holy Spirit gives gifts according to the common good.
In our day more credit is given to satan than to the Holy Spirit. So basically anything supernatural must be demonic. Yes we must discern whether it is or isn’t of God. John 8:52 “At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death.” Matthew 12:22 “Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. 30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
We must test the spirits to know truth. Everything must line up with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Anything that does not line up is another gospel whether you are charismatic or not. The truth is we should all be charismatic and the events of Pentecost should be considered normal. What is not normal is the deception of cessationism and false teaching in the charismatic movement that is not of the Holy Spirit. Thing like babbling like pagans is of God, I heard a guy speaking at a men’s breakfast babbling who sounded like Barney Rubble. Nothing of it was scriptural yet they say they are filled with the Holy Spirit but there is no fruit of the spirit. They speak as if from God and say this is the word of the Lord but yet the word does not mirror scripture. Jeremiah 14:14 “Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” Remember this applies to charismatic and non-charismatic.
Our prayer is that once again the Holy Spirit would move in our midst just like the early church. We pray that once again “The Lord will work with us and confirm his word by the signs that accompanied it.” Yes be very cautious with the teaching of the charismatic but be just as cautious with the teaching of the non-charismatic. 2 Chronicles 32:7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. 8 With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” Why would you want to side with the arm of flesh? Why would you want to be part of a church that refuses to believe the whole counsel of the word of God? Why be part of churches that believe there is no power available for today and that power ceased with the early church? Do we not want the same power that raised Jesus from the dead on our side? I think in most cases those who believe there is no longer power have already been swayed. I also believe those who teach power contrary to the word of God have also been swayed. Colossians 2:6 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
Let me give you an example of the two extremes of false prophets and their teaching. On the charismatic side you have someone like Benny Hinn and on the cessationist side you have someone like John MacArthur. I talked about Benny Hinn before but here is a video that shows two false prophets talking together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6xBo9EijIQ I am also going to share this video link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN0CliV5A18 but understand that John MacArthur’s description of prophets and apostles is his own lack of understanding of a prophet. Also understand that the ceasing of the gifts is not a normative view of the church. Prophets have always spoken the word of God and nothing has changed today as the prophet still speaks the word of God today. It is not a new word but simply the word that no one wants to hear. That word is as simple repent. Scripture is very clear that nothing is to be added. Remember Jesus said, Matthew 10:24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” Today there is much deception in the church. Be very careful!